Barton return boosts QPR’s survival bid


QPR boss Mark Hughes hailed Joey Barton after the captain’s return inspired Rangers to a third successive home win and lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Barton, rested at the weekend to avoid suspension, justified his recall with a goal that set Hughes’s men on the way to a priceless three points in the battle for survival.

Second-half goals from Jamie Mackie and Akos Buzsaky completed a morale-boosting victory ahead of what looks set to be a fiercely contested run-in.

“I think Joey did excellently,” Hughes said. “I made the decision at the weekend to protect him as I couldn’t afford him to take the risk of losing him if he got another booking.

“The positive of that was he came into the game really fresh and raring to go. I think we benefited from that and I thought the manner of his performance and the goal really topped off an excellent performance from the rest of the team.”

The win lifted QPR to 16th in the table, two points clear of Bolton, while also condemning Swansea to their fourth defeat on the bounce.

Skipper Barton broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, firing in a low drive after the Swansea defence had failed to deal with a teasing Adel Taarabt free-kick.

Forward Mackie doubled the lead, neatly turning to make room for a shot that deflected off Angel Rangel, leaving Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm stranded. Hungary midfielder Buzsaky sealed the win in style when he lashed home a sumptuous 25-yard strike.