By Tom Blackburn

Joey Barton claims that the atmosphere at the Ibrox is the best he has ever experienced as a professional footballer.

The 33-year-old former Newcastle, Manchester City and QPR midfielder made his league debut for Rangers on Saturday in a 1-1 draw against Hamilton in their Scottish Premiership curtainraiser.

St James’ Park is renowned as being a feverish venue on match day, and Barton has also played at some of European football’s great cathedrals, but the veteran is convinced that it pales into comparison to his new home ground.

He gave his verdict on the atmosphere generated by the Glasgow faithful on his personal Twitter account on Sunday.

Barton also expressed his disappointment at not claiming all three points, and promised the team would return stronger.

Barton is a big signing for Mark Warburton’s side this summer, and he has been joined at the club by former QPR team mates Clint Hill and Nico Kranjcar.

The midfielder, who played for both Everton and Liverpool during his youth career, made just 84 appearances for the Magpies in five years at St James’ Park.

Injuries, a jail sentence and subsequent suspensions meant his playing time was limited.

Up next for Rangers in the league is a trip to Dundee FC, who opened their league campaign with a convincing 3-1 away victory against Ross County.

In other Rangers news, a prolific Premier League striker has backed a Rangers key man for a move to a big English club.