Barton, who arrived on a free transfer from Newcastle this summer, was one of six new signings to make their Hoops debut in last night’s 0-0 draw at home to Barton’s previous employers.
Barton was jailed in 2008 for assault and most recently caused ire among the Newcastle hierarchy by hitting out at the club’s transfer policy on Twitter.
The 29-year-old claims to be a reformed character and Warnock is confident he and his new captain will develop a relationship to help new owner Tony Fernandes realise his bright vision for the Londoners.
Warnock said: “We need somebody as our leader. He [Barton] epitomised what we are about. It was difficult for him and I thought he handled himself well. He just grabbed hold of us. We will have our moments where things won’t go so well, but you have to have that in any healthy relationship.”