Date: 25th May 2016 at 4:36pm
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Not that Lukas Jutkiewicz has the chance to play alongside Joey Barton as he spent virtually the whole of our Championship season on the sidelines due to the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in August.

He’s praised the contribution he made at Turf Moor during his one and only season though.

Jutkiewicz has hailed the dressing room presence Barton offered, which means he’s been left ‘gutted’ at the loss to Burnley as a result.

But he can see why he wanted the Rangers challenge, quoted by the Daily Record as saying.

‘While I`m pleased for Joey, I`m gutted to lose him. He was a huge part of what we wanted to do and a good guy in the dressing room. I`m disappointed but I can see why he wanted this challenge at this stage of his career. I wish him all the best, he`s a great guy.’

There’s no doubt in the strikers mind he could have easily gone and played in the Premier League again with us (or someone else) but with that a level he’s ‘proved himself’ at a ‘more exciting challenge’ was taken up.

Jutkiewicz has dismissed the suggestion the move to Scotland is seeing him ‘wind down his career’ though adding that isn’t the Barton way, he’s ‘a real winner’ who will still have ‘loads left in him’ as he proved for Burnley.

‘He was in the Championship Team of the Year, he was Burnley`s Player of the Year in a league-winning season so that shows the quality he`s got. He`s still a Premier League standard player and when you put him into the Scottish league he`s going to stand out. His ability will shine through and he`ll drive on the rest of the team.’

Barton didn’t want a ‘relegation battle’ again, which I’m guessing (in fairness you would understand such views) he feels would be the case with the Clarets next season so this played a part in his thinking as did the two-year offer Rangers put to him.

We’ll miss him, he was the Player of the Year for a reason, but players come and go….

The positive influence he had on his personally, helping him through his recovery process, is something Jutkiewicz finished by thanking him for saying everyone at the will only ‘speak highly’ of him following his spell with the Clarets.

‘From day one he was nothing but a positive influence on people in terms of how to go about their daily training and how to get the best out of themselves. He`s matured massively as the years have gone by and to a man everyone in that Burnley changing room could only speak highly of him. Especially me for all he did.

‘I had a cruciate knee injury at the start of the season and he took time out of his schedule to see how I was doing, even though it wasn`t going to benefit him on the field because I was out for the whole season. But still he really devoted a lot of time to me to help me through what I was going through. He was an ear for me to talk to and his advice helped me through. He`s an intelligent bloke and everyone in the dressing room respected what he had to say.’

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