Joe Kinnear feels Barton will keep a level head should he make it into the game at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Joe Kinnear – has confidence in Barton to keep his head
Joe Kinnear told the Shields Gazette today:
“Everybody’s going to make something of (the derby), because of Joey’s natural temperament,” “You just need to get hold of people. Joey’s a very sensible lad deep down.”
“I know he’s lost the plot in the past, but there won’t be any need for that in such a game.” “People are probably waiting for him to do just that, but I think he’s too bright to do that.”
Barton played 80 minutes last night in a Reserve game against Middlesbrough our readers (who were at the game) said was a good victory, with young strikers Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll looking the best players on the field.
“It’s always difficult for experienced players playing in reserve matches such as this, but Joey did very well.” “It’s about getting fitness into him, like Andy Carroll, and I’m delighted for both of them.”
“Joey’s got plenty of character, so the past won’t affect him. He just loves his football.” “Other people might have decided not to play, or to be somewhere else.”
“All in all it’s about getting fitness – it’s nothing to do with performances because we know what he’s capable of.”
“I was pleased with his performance. He did exceptionally well. He looks quite fit and sharp, and it was a good night.”
If Joey does come on then he’ll be a target for not just the Sunderland fans, who will boo like crazy, but also the players. He’s going to have to accept that, because the situation he is in is all of his own making. It may not be fair, but Joey just has to get on with it, from now on.
But let’s not make this game about Joey Barton, because we truly need all 3 points on Saturday to turn our season around. If we can get another performance out of the lads like last Monday, and can finally get some luck on our side, we have a good chance to beat a good Sunderland side.
That’s the only thing that’s important on Saturday.