ANDRE Gray made it eight goals in five games as he fired a superb hat-trick to sink Rangers and his old mate Joey Barton.

Midfielder Barton, who played a pivotal role in the Clarets’ charge to the Championship title last season, was given a great reception from the travelling supporters.

But he was in for a torrid afternoon in his new Ibrox home as prolific Gray struck twice in the first half and once more after the restart to keep up Sean Dyche’s men’s unbeaten record in pre-season.

The Burnley boss made six changes from Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Bolton, bringing Sam Vokes back into the side after his Euro 2016 adventure with Wales.

But the most striking name on the teamsheet was that of Joey Barton, who faced the side he left at the end of last season after he announced he wanted more than the 12-month extension on offer at Turf Moor.

If Barton still holds a place in the hearts of Clarets fans, who made him their player of the year, then it is Gray the Turf Moor faithful will look to this season to keep them in the Premier League.

And he took just four minutes to break the deadlock at Ibrox and extend his scoring run.

Dean Marney got his head up to pick the striker’s clever run out and Gray went to ground under the challenge of Clint Hill, referee Nick Walsh pointing straight to the spot.

Gray got up, placed the ball down and side-footed it past Gers keeper Wes Foderington for his sixth goal in five games.

Barrie McKay was showing some good touches down the Rangers left and one exquisite piece of control almost put him clear on goal before Tom Heaton charged off his line to clear the danger.

Tendayi Darikwa then tried his luck from distance but his effort flashed well over the top.

Former Spurs winger Nico Kranjcar had Gers’ first effort when he lashed in a right-footer from distance but it was wide of Heaton’s goal.

Vokes saw an effort blocked but Burnley didn’t have long to wait for their second, which was a pearler from Gray.

Michael Keane found Scott Arfield in space and his pass saw the striker beat the offside trap and place a precise shot wide of Foderingham.

Barton was dropping deeper and deeper in search of possession as the Rangers struggled to click into gear, but when he did get up the pitch he tested Heaton with a stinging drive that bounced just in front of the England man before he gathered at the second attempt.

Vokes went even closer at the other end when he took a clever flick by Gray and smashed a shot against the post, the ball rebounding to the safety of Foderingham’s grateful arms.

Barton was in the thick of it again when Gers won a free-kick just outside the box.

Clarets fans chanted his name as he lined up the set-piece, and were relieved when his curling shot was straight into the arms of Heaton.

Dyche brought on Iceland winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson for Arfield at the start of the second half, with Lukas Jutkiewicz replacing Vokes in attack.

Goalkeeper Matt Gilks also came on against his old club and his first duty was to pluck Marney’s cross out of the sky as it headed in the direction of Gray.

His next action was to pick it out of the net as the Clarets striker claimed his hat-trick.

He was given far too much space on the edge of the box and stroked home a low shot that had his former teammate easily beaten.

Kenny Miller almost got on the end of a long ball through but Heaton did well to spot the danger and gather on the edge of his box.

Rangers boss Mark Warburton made six changes as Barton and Kranjcar were among those replaced.

But his side did pull a goal back when one of his replacements, Michael O’Halloran, got clear down the right and his low cross was deflected past Heaton by Ben Mee.

Dyche rang the changes after that as Gray was given a well-earned rest.

He won’t be getting that come August 13 against Swansea City, however, and Premier League defenders will be already taking note of his habit of finding the back of the net.