Joey Barton is making excellent progress from his metatarsal injury, and he played 60 minutes for the reserves last night, although he didnâ€™t want to come off, because he felt so good.
Looks like he will be competing for a place in Newcastle’s team for the Tottenham game on 22nd October, a must win game for us.
3 points should catapult us back with the leaders. Currently we are in 9th place, but the four teams above us are grouped within 1 point of Newcastle.
Joey Barton – completely committed to Newcastle United
Joey was asked initially about England. He won his only England cap as a substitute in the friendly against Spain at Old Trafford in February. This is what Joey said:
â€œEngland is on the back-burner for me, without a shadow of a doubt,â€ â€œI havenâ€™t been bought to play for England – I am here to play for Newcastle United.â€
â€œPeople get carried away about playing for their country. It is always nice to be selected, and it is always a privilege and an honor. But the thing I have to do first and foremost is to do what I have been bought to do, and that is play good football for Newcastle.â€
â€œIf England comes, then so be it, but I have played for them once now and that will do for me. I am more interested in winning domestic honors.”
“This is my bread and butter and at the minute, hand on heart, I would much rather be successful for Newcastle United than I would for England.â€
Newcastle currently have 10 players away on international duty and they will not return until 18th October, which is the Thursday before our Monday night game at home to Tottenham. Barton will be playing again in a behind-closed-doors friendly that has been arranged for tomorrow, so he can be ready for the Tottenham game.
Joey played for about 60 minutes in last nightâ€™s 3-1 reserve team victory over Wigan reserves at Kingston Park, but he wanted to play the full game.
â€œThey were saying to me, â€˜come offâ€™ after 65 minutes because that was always the plan,â€ â€œBut I was saying, â€˜No, I can play 90 minutes.â€ â€œBut thatâ€™s the way I always am and I wanted to push myself that little bit further.â€
â€œThey know a lot better than me how to get to the right level and they have done very well for me with my injury so far, so it is just a case of trusting them and listening to what they have to say.â€
â€œThere is no rush because there is no game for another couple of weeks until Spurs, and I must be careful to make sure that I am in contention for that game.â€
It looks to us if Joey can prove his match fitness he may even start the game against Tottenham, although Big Sam will probably put him on the bench. But with Barton and Emre both back, and Faye and Cacapa looking good in defense, Sam may soon have to decide what his best starting eleven is, with everyone coming back from injury. That will not be easy, but we think his starting eleven has to include Joey.
It will be good to see our best team out sometime, whatever that is