Ex-Newcastle United man Joey Barton has this warning for young players tempted to join Sunderland

Joey Barton says players should shun the advances of Sunderland and Ipswich in January – and avoid being part of their ‘worst team ever’.

The Fleetwood Town boss saw Leeds United defender Lewie Coyle pick the Cod Army over the Stadium of Light last week, and has now called on other young players weighing-up their options to avoid the glamour of League One’s big boys and head to Highbury.

Indeed, the former Newcastle United man insists that no club in the third tier improves players as well as his Fleetwood side, and claims that players will quickly be forgotten if they opt for the Black Cats of Tractor Boys this month.

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“If I was a young player playing in League One or had a potential League One loan, yes there are bigger clubs out there but I don’t think anyone improves players as well as us,” he said, speaking to BBC Lancashire.

Joey Barton has aimed another dig at SunderlandJoey Barton has aimed another dig at Sunderland
Joey Barton has aimed another dig at Sunderland

“You can play for Sunderland or Ipswich and there’s a different pressure attached to it but, no disrespect and I’ve said it before, you will be part of their worst team ever and won’t ever be remembered in their history.

“They’re not going to remember in 20 years’ time, a team that got promoted from League One because the reality of it is that without mismanagement, poor decisions and poor recruitment, they wouldn’t be in League One.

“A club of that stature shouldn’t be in this division unless you’ve seriously got it wrong.”