Barton - Rs playing for future

Former Newcastle midfielder targets points against the Gunners

Joey Barton: QPR captain has concerns over his future as relegation looms over Rangers

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QPR captain Joey Barton has tried to inspire his side to safety by insisting they are playing for their careers in football.

The Hoops are currently 18th in the Premier League and will face a difficult game against a rejuvenated Arsenal side this weekend.

Relegation from the Premier League could have dire consequences after the lavish investment in the team by owner Tony Fernandes in January.

And it is something their firebrand midfielder is acutely aware of.

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"This is more than a game of football now. The next eight games govern our futures," Barton told the club's official website.

"There are lads here whose careers are on the line - all the lads need to realise that. If we don't, we'll be punished for it."

Joey Barton

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Careers

"We're as desperate for the points as they are - for totally different reasons obviously.

"But there are livelihoods on the line here. People's careers are on the line. I'm not sure that's the case at Arsenal to be honest.

"They'll (Arsenal) want to win the game because they're professionals and they'll want to finish in the Champions League places, which is a minimum requirement for them.

"But there are lads here whose careers are on the line - all the lads need to realise that. If we don't, we'll be punished for it."

The two teams last met on New Year's Eve when a goal from the talented Robin van Persie separated the sides and earned the Gunners the victory.

In-form

However, Barton believes there is a lot his team can take from their display in that game.

He added: "Arsenal are a really good footballing side - they're the in-form side in the league.

"But I feel when we went to the Emirates we acquitted ourselves really well. I think we deserved to get something out of the game.

"The manner of that defeat was frustrating, because we gave a good account of ourselves.

"We went there with a game-plan to make it really difficult for them and we did that for very long spells."