Burnley boss Sean Dyche has challenged Joey Barton to bring his will to win back to the club to secure a regular place in his team.
The 34-year-old was handed a second debut for the Clarets in Saturday’s 0-0 FA Cup third-round draw at Sunderland, four months after his last appearance for Rangers.
Dyche was pleased with Barton’s contribution on Wearside and wants to see more of what he provided during his first spell at Turf Moor.
The manager said: “He just brings what he brought the time before he was at the club, which is his experience, his will, his demand on himself and the group, and he has made that clear by the way he goes about it.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to play him today in a team that had a few changes. But, as I said, I believe in the group and I believe in Joey – that’s why he’s here.
“I thought he did well. I thought his fitness was good – it’s not easy coming in after the break he’s had, but I thought his fitness was good. He stayed calm with the ball for us.”
In a drab encounter, Sunderland enjoyed the better of the first half, with Jack Rodwell threatening to break the deadlock on more than one occasion, but the visitors finished the game on top and might have nicked it had defender James Tarkowski’s header not come back off a post.
Asked if he was frustrated not to win, Dyche said: “Chance-wise, definitely. As the game wore on, we made three, four even more promising opportunities, but then two or three really golden chances and on another day I think we win the match.
“We were on the front foot – that’s how we want to play home and away. A lot has been made of our away league form, but you can see that we want to take the game on and win games and that was evident today with the group.
“I was really pleased with the mentality, particularly as the game wore on. I thought we looked really fit, really strong and were trying to win the tie, of course. But it’s not easy.”
Seven days earlier, Burnley had trounced the Black Cats 4-1 in the Premier League and, while Sunderland boss David Moyes was significantly happier with this result, he was less impressed with a performance he described as “poor”.
Moyes said: “The result is better, but if you took the goals out of the game down there, it was the same type of game. It was a poor game, and even at Burnley it was a poor game.
“The difference was that we conceded terrible goals there. Today it was a poor game, but we just didn’t concede any goals. It was very similar.
“That can happen sometimes in the first game after a busy period. That’s not an excuse, but it can have an effect. I think we seemed to feel that a wee bit, especially in the second half.”
As a result, Moyes, who fielded his strongest available team, was satisfied with a replay, which will take place on Tuesday, January 17.
He said: “I think with 10, 15 minutes to go, they were the better team and it looked as if they were going to score, so I think if you gave me it with 10, 15 to minutes to go, I might have said, ‘Yes, I’ll take it’.
“I don’t mind it. I’d rather have won today, but I’d rather have a replay than be out of the cup, that’s for sure.”