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The Shouting Men: Gillingham defender Max Ehmer not surprised by former QPR team-mate Joey Barton's move into management with Fleetwood Town

I always knew Joey Barton would make a success of it in management.

He’s the manager of Fleetwood now but I’ve known him for a long time and we got on really well when I was a youngster at QPR.

Max Ehmer keeps Sunderland at bay last weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Max Ehmer keeps Sunderland at bay last weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

I used to sit next to him in the changing room when I got moved up to the first team there and he looked after me.

He is a very intelligent guy. He has got a knowledge about everything but when it came to the football side of it he was so detailed in everything he did. When he mentioned he was getting into coaching I knew he would be a success.

He’s a funny character, obviously very opinionated, but I can’t say a bad word about him. I think he has had bad press but he has always been good to me.

He showed me the ropes, he had his opinions on things, which was funny to listen to, and I still keep in touch with him.

He was always really good for me, a funny guy and a proper, good professional. He would do things correctly and without him telling me what to do, he showed me what to do – a top guy.

He showed great professionalism around the club, doing extra gym sessions after training and before and I have taken some of that off him. He was a top player, too.

Joey Barton will be reunited with Max Ehmer this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Joey Barton will be reunited with Max Ehmer this weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

We’re heading to Fleetwood full of confidence and we were all buzzing for Connor Ogilvie to have scored the 89th-minute winner against Sunderland.

It was a class finish from Connor but because of where I was I didn’t see him hit it at the time, but just saw the ball go in the top corner.

It was really good to be celebrating with the fans, some of them ended up on the pitch, but last-minute winners are like that. It’s one of the best feelings you can get in football, especially when you beat a big club like Sunderland.

It was a good result and we produced a performance to match it.

Every day in training the boys are looking sharp and there is a lot of confidence.

It’s another great test for us on Saturday, with Fleetwood away and it will be a hard game.

Last time we went to Fleetwood on the way up my daughter was born and I ended up staying and playing the game. I’m not missing anything this weekend, so it’s all good!

It’s been good lately with the five clean sheets in a row at home. I just want to keep getting better and we want to do that collectively as a team as well.

The new style that we play, which is full-on press, means the ball sometimes doesn’t reach me because we win the ball so much higher up. I am loving it.

At times I’m thinking, ‘jeez, I am high here, I could get turned,’ but you have to trust it. It’s what we’ve been trying to do and it is starting to show. It has been really fun to play.

It’s a credit to all the staff and the players. We are taking everything on board and long may it continue.

We have big characters down here and we all want the same thing.

If one person drops off we try and pick them up straight away because we need all 11 playing.

We are not a team that is good enough to have seven players playing and four below par, we need everyone 100% and I think that is what it has been.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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