QPR manager denies Barton-Taarabt rift

QPR boss Neil Warnock has played down reports of a falling out between Joey Barton and Adel Taarabt.

Barton publicly criticised the Moroccan following last weekend’s home draw against Blackburn – which Taarabt started on the bench.

But Warnock, whose side face Chelsea in Sunday’s west London derby, has insisted that the two players have a good relationship.

He said: “I don’t know whether they fell out to be honest. I have only read what’s been in the papers and I’ve not heard anything about it around the training ground.

“This sort of thing happens at every club. I could tell you every club where there’s a few who can light the touch paper and we are no different to them.”

Meanwhile, Rangers have been boosted by news that DJ Campbell may not be sidelined for as long as was initially thought.

The striker was expected to be out until at least Christmas, but surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot was successful – and revealed the damage was not as extensive as the club believed.

Warnock revealed: “The operation went very well. We don’t think he will be out for quite as long as we were expecting. The surgeon said it wasn’t quite a complete break.”