Chris Hughton is saying that Joey Barton is still a month away from returning to the Newcastle first team.
Joey Barton – out for another 4 weeks
That differs significantly from what we were told last week, when it was reported he could be back for this Saturday’s game at Swansea – so what’s happened?
Joey has not played at all since last September, because of yet another foot injury – his third since he’s been at Newcastle.
The return of Barton will further strengthen the Newcastle squad, which has looked a lot better since the January transfer activity.
Hughton has come out today and explained the situation with Joey Barton.
This is what Chris told the Newcastle Journal today:
“The problem is he has missed a lot of football and when you have been out for as long as he has, the reality is you do not know when he will be back.”
“Normally it will take a few weeks to get him up to speed, the pace of the training, and then of course, going into a game situation is completely different.”
“He is back in training this week and we expect another three weeks after that and then we will assess him.”
“The most important thing is to get him fit and to a stage where he is available. If he can play some part this season, then it is better than not having him at all.”
“Mentally he is okay. Over the period of time he has been injured for four months, it is a difficult period for anyone when you are out.”
“It is very frustrating and everything that goes with it, but he has handled it okay and he will be looking to get back.”
“For the majority of the time he has been here, we have had no problems with Joey. He has been very good and very focused. We expect that to continue.”
As we already mentioned, Joey has been injured a lot since he came to us in the summer of 2007, from Manchester City, for around £5.8M.
Add to that Joey’s altercations in the last several years, and the fact that he was in jail when a Newcastle player – and it’s obvious that Barton has a lot to do to repay the Newcastle club.
Joey would be well advised to keep his head down, and not get into any more stupid situations that would embarrass him and the Newcastle United club, otherwise he can kiss goodbye to a professional football career.
In fact, Joey’s very lucky still to have a career in football, given what’s happened in the past. We have to hope he understands that.
The sooner he gets back, and starts to play at his best for Newcastle – and makes only headlines for his good play for the famous Tyneside club – the better.