The People and Setanta Sports are reporting that Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan thinks that Joey Barton could be playing for the Newcastle first-team in the near future.
Joey Barton – back soon in first team?
A return for Barton may not last too long however, as an FA hearing next month could result in a 15-game ban for the midfielder following his assault on former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
Keegan intends to appear in person at Barton’s hearing in a bid to back his player, despite some calls on Tyneside urging Barton to be sacked. The fans are nearly evenly divided with the slight majority thinking Joey should be retained by the club.
Kevin told the People today:
“I know a lot of people don’t agree with me, I have had lots of letters and I have seen all the postbags,”
“It is for me to make that decision on Barton and I have made what I think will turn out to be the right decision.”
“I would have thought that he has a chance of playing for the first team soon. He is back here and he’s up for selection.”
“But he is a little bit behind the others because he has missed all of pre-season.”
“That is what we are trying to catch up on but it won’t make any difference if we are home or away when I play him.”
We’ll have to see what happens at the FA Hearing that Joey has to attend, but we think he’ll be banned for some number of games, just don’t know exactly how many.