Joe Kinnear is having second thoughts about Joey Barton for the Sunderland game but it seems he will make the substitute bench at The Stadium Of Light on Saturday.
Hughton and Kinnear – great shot of them working well together
Obviously with Barton now having served his 6 match FA ban, there’s lots of news stories in the press about him right now potentially making his comeback to the team at some point against Sunderland.
Kinnear talked about Barton:
“Am I worried such an intense fixture might be too much for him? That has already gone through my head. I am going to sit down with Joey and explain that to him.”
“Barton’s in the running for sure. His fitness level is good and what has happened in the past with the lad is over and done with. I am only here to assess his ability as a player and he’s a good player, he really is.”
“I’ll have a one-to-one with him, that’s if I get a word in with him because he’s a typical Scouser isn’t he. Obviously I have spoken to him about the importance of staying on the pitch for the Sunderland game because he trains as he plays believe it or not. He’s got a big heart and is a good character. And on top of that he can play.”
“I want players to play in a certain style and give everything they have got. He’s a wholehearted player and he’s got a lot of ability as well.” “Maybe people think about him completely differently and forget about the ability he has got. Joey’s one of the best finishers at the club believe it or not.”
We think it would be risky to have Joey Barton start, and for one thing Butt and Guthrie have been playing so well in central midfield, they hardly deserve to be dropped for Barton, who is not yet even match fit.
Barton will have to be content with a place on the bench and Joe will probably bring him on for the last 20 minutes or so, to give him a taste of first team football. But we all know he’ll get a terrible reception at The Stadium Of Light, and some would say it will be well deserved.
As we said yesterday Joey is on his last chance, and he just cannot afford any more mistakes, and make no mistake he will be tested during his comeback. Not only will the fans around the country let him know what they think of him, but also the players will test him, as we witnessed in his last game at Arsenal, because some of them just don’t think he should still be in the game.
And lastly, we have to say once again we’re very impressed with the way Joe Kinnear handles his players. He’s very honest and seems very sensible when talking about the lads and the team, and what’s required of each player.
He’s obviously a football man through and through, and It’s little wonder the players are quickly taking to him, as Joe continues to do a sterling job for our club.
Finally a little note to Joe – we need all 3 points on Saturday. 😀
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