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Midfielder says he can't wait for the game and hopes to pour cold water on his former side's title hopes, while admitting he needs to be criticised to get the best out of him

QPR midfielder Joey Barton is relishing his side’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday and says the title challengers need to "get a reality check" if they think it will be an easy game.

City go into the game needing a win to seal a first top-flight title since 1968, while the west London club are languishing perilously above the relegation zone and know a defeat could put their Premier League status in jeopardy.

The encounter will also see the return to the Etihad Stadium of Mark Hughes, and Barton says he is relishing the clash and the Hoops will punish City if their attitude isn’t right.

"I can't wait for the game. I can't wait to go to Man City. They expect us to turn up and them to probably stuff us and win the league," Barton told reporters.
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"If that is their attitude, they will get a reality check, it's 11 men against 11, there is a lot of pressure out there. I can't wait for it."

Barton himself has endured a turbulent season. Since his move to the Rs from Newcastle, he has come under criticism at times from his own fans.

The skipper has bounced back well and has recently been praised by his manager for his performances, and Barton says he needs criticism to perform to the best of his ability.

He continued: "I'm a weird, weird, peculiar individual. If people praise me, I don't get the best out of myself. I only get the best out of myself when people say I'm not good.

"I'm one of those players who needs a rocket up my backside."

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