Joey Barton set to miss Rangers v Motherwell League Cup tie

Joey Barton is unlikely to make his Rangers debut when their competitive season kicks off with Saturday's League Cup tie at Motherwell.

Joey Barton unlikely to be ready to play for Rangers on Saturday. Picture: Rangers FC/PA
Joey Barton unlikely to be ready to play for Rangers on Saturday. Picture: Rangers FC/PA

The former England midfielder started training with his new club this week after missing their pre-season training camp in South Carolina.

Barton is behind most of his team-mates in preparation for the new campaign and manager Mark Warburton does not expect him to feature in the live televised opener at Fir Park.

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“I would think Saturday will probably be too soon for Joey,” said Warburton. “It is good to see him at training this week, along with Lee Hodson (who also missed the pre-season trip as he was in the Northern Ireland squad at Euro 2016).

“It’s great to welcome them to the squad and introduce them slowly. Lee has been at the Euros, while Joey had an extended break. We will work them in slowly but surely.

“Lee was away and training with Northern Ireland, so he is nearer peak fitness. He will be involved in some capacity on Saturday.”

Motherwell striker Louis Moult admits his lingering groin injury is making him a domestic “nightmare”.

Moult will see a specialist tomorrow after close-season rest failed to solve the problem.

The 24-year-old has not missed a game since joining Motherwell a year ago but he could be forced out of Saturday’s League Cup opener – and potentially longer.

The former Stoke and Wrexham forward said: “It’s very frustrating. These last two weeks have been a nightmare for me.

“I’ve been shouting at my missus, just because I’m frustrated because I’m not playing to my full potential because I have a little niggle. Being unfit as well isn’t helping.

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“I want to play in every game I can. I’ll play Saturday if the gaffer gives me the green light.

“That’s the kind of person I am, I just want to get back on the pitch and score goals.”