The Gas ran out 2-0 winners last night against the Palace development squad in the EFL Trophy.


It is the form of Bristol Rovers in League One that has the fans worried though, as they sit in the relegation zone and are winless in eight games.



Barton thinks that Crystal Palace Under-21s epitomise what is wrong in the modern game, as their quality is much below the senior leagues, despite them being only one step below their level.


The Bristol Rovers manager further insisted that he would not take any of the players from the youth side in his team and blasted them for their challenges on his players because they have a game that, in his opinion, matters at the weekend as opposed to the Under-21s of Crystal Palace.



“I thought they were what the problem is in the modern game, an academy side that are miles away from producing people who can play in the league”, Barton was quoted as saying by Bristol Live post-match.


“They’re so far away, let’s be honest, so it kind of makes a mockery for me of what that Premier League 2 is.



“You hear me talk all the time about these big clubs stockpiling players and what player for them today… We wouldn’t take any of their players, we just wouldn’t, they’re so far away.


“It’s a good opportunity for us to look at that because we do like to utilise the loan market but I was so surprised to see them.


“It’s easy for them because their games don’t matter.


“Their games are irrelevant and nobody cares about them, but we’ve got a proper game on Saturday when mortgages are on the line, real football, real men’s football.


“So to have a team of kids go out and leave late challenges on you is bizarre.


“The competition is about developing younger players.”


Despite the blasting from Barton, Crystal Palace Under-21s are sitting in second in the Premier League 2 table, kept off top by just goal difference, and had not lost in any competition this season before going down to Bristol Rovers.