Joey Barton, manager of Bristol Rovers, looks on following the Sky Bet League One match between Bristol Rovers and Accrington Stanley at Memorial Stadium on March 9, 2021

Every time ex-Newcastle United man Joey Barton has tried to wind up Sunderland fans ahead of Bristol Rovers visit

Joey Barton seems to enjoy trying to annoy Sunderland fans.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:18 am

The former Newcastle United player has had plenty of brushes with Black Cats supporters down the years.

The ‘interesting’ relationship between Sunderland fans and Barton appears to be something the ex-Manchester City man is unwilling to let go of, judging by his comments every time he comes up against the North East club.

Barton is now managing Sunderland’s League One rivals Bristol Rovers having been sacked from his previous job at Fleetwood Town.

Indeed, the former Rangers and Burnley midfielder confirmed that he left Fleetwood Town following a bust-up with the club's chairman over transfers.

And the ever abrasive and always charming Barton also had a disagreement with striker Ched Evans before his departure to join Preston North End.

"A few players were at the end of their cycle - Ched Evans, I'd had enough of him. He just wasn't performing on the pitch and I felt we needed to improve in that position.”

Sunderland are two points off second-placed Peterborough United in the automatic promotion places and with a game in hand on Darren Ferguson's side and league-leaders Hull City.

Bristol Rovers, however, are stuck in a relegation dog fight and sit fourth-bottom in League One.

And ahead of the Black Cats clash with Barton’s Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, we’ve delved into the archives to find some of the one-time England international's attempts to goad Sunderland fans over the years – on everything from Simon Mignolet and Jack Ross to Paolo Di Canio.

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