Joey Barton will obviously need two or three more games under his belt before he will be able to produce the form which made him an excellent box-to-box midfielder at Manchester City, and won him his single England cap â€“ so far in his career.
Newcastle need Barton now more than ever, if they are to maintain their good start to the season.
Joey Barton – will be better off after his 90 minutes against Reading on Saturday
Barton started off quite well on Saturday but then faded as did the team. But Sam left Joey on for the full game to give him the match practice he so needsto get him back to his best as quickly as possible. After the game on Saturday Allardyce said:
â€œIt was good to see Joey back.â€ â€œObviously, heâ€™ll get better and better as time goes on. Thatâ€™s going to be very important, like every other player staying fit and getting sharper and sharper off match practice.â€
â€œThe more games we get, the sharper heâ€™ll become as times go on. I think two or three more games, and heâ€™ll pick up it pretty quickly.â€
â€œOn the basis of todayâ€™s performance, energy-wise heâ€™s OK, but heâ€™s a little rusty in possession. He took a little bit too much time in possession, but saying that, thatâ€™s Reading at their best.â€
It was a woeful display by Newcastle against Reading on Saturday, very disheartening to say the least for the Newcastle faithful. But when asked if there were any positives coming out of the match Sam said:
â€œOnly Joey, for me.â€
The sooner we can get a decent win on the road the better – and there’s a perfect opportunity when we play our old rivals Sunderland at the Stadium of Light a week come Saturday. A win then will put us in good stead. A defeat is not even worth thinking about.