Joey Barton was the epitome of a cult hero at Newcastle, and his relationship with fans continued after he left the club, which has seen him rile Sunderland fans up a number of times.

Last season, Barton claimed if he had a budget like Sunderland’s, he would have won the League One title with weeks to spare, as he commented on the difference in size of the Wearsiders and his Fleetwood Town club.

(Photo by Tim Markland/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He also claimed that Sunderland were not a “spectacular” side ahead of their game in the latter stages of last season.

He knows exactly how to get the Black Cats’ fans to bite, and he has done so again, with his latest claims over Sunderland manager Jack Ross’ decision to  postpone the upcoming game between the two sides.

The Sunderland boss called the game off due to three of his players receiving international call-ups.

But Barton insists the real reason is because Sunderland do not want to play Fleetwood at the minute, as there would “only be one outcome” if they played, as he backed his Fleetwood team to beat Ross’ side.

(Photo by Tim Markland/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Barton said of the Sunderland decision to postpone the match: “It’s a strange one because we were really looking forward to the game. At this moment, we’ll beat anyone, anywhere, at any time.

“Smartly, Sunderland have decided to rearrange the game. If I was in their position and looked at their momentum, our momentum, their team and our team I would have done the same.

“They have to play us at some time because you have to play everyone twice. It’s smart to avoid us, because they know if they play us now there’s only one outcome.”

Barton knows excactly how to provoke a response from Sunderland fans

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

His comments have certainly stirred the pot, and has seen the Sunderland fans bite at the bait he dangled tantalisingly in front of them.

Here are some of their reactions on Twitter.

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