As we’ve reported this week, Joey Barton is now back in training and is looking very sharp indeed.
Joey Barton – looking sharp in training
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton talked about Joey this morning:
“He needs games. Sometimes you can get carried away because you see him in training and think he looks sharp.”
“He has missed so much of the season and watched so much football that he will be desperate to get back in.”
“But when somebody has been out as long as he’s been out, there’s a protocol and you have to do it right. Throwing him in can sometimes backfire, although sometimes it’s about taking the risk.”
“If we were in position where we had to take a risk, it would affect your thinking, but we are not in that position and we are allowed a little more time.”
“The difficulty is reining him in. When he’s had a couple of reserve team games, that would be a problem with Joey.”
It’s not surprising to us that Joey wants to come back. The 27 year-old will want to support the Newcastle’s drive towards promotion, after being out for over four months of the season with his foot injury.
And Joey’s a good player, but it seems that Chris will hold him back a little, to ensure he’s fully physically and match fit, before he finally returns to the Newcastle squad.
But Chirs is also concentrating completely on how he can get Newcastle promoted over these final crucial 13 games of the season.
It would seem that Joey Barton’s return to fitness will help Newcastle to do just that.
“It’s very much about getting everybody fit for when they are fit. I would prefer to have him for as many games as we can this season, whether it’s for the last five or last 10.”
“At the moment, we are not desperate to get him back in because of what we’ve got. Nicky Butt is back at the weekend and we have options in there. That might not change, but it might do.”
“There’s always something in this game that smacks you in the teeth when you have everyone available. At the moment, we are not under pressure to bring him back and that affords us a little bit more time.”
“When he’s fit he will improve the squad. He’s been out for most of the season, but the bottom line is he’s a good footballer.”
We expect to see Joey back probably in about two weeks, and it could well be that Hughton will arrange a couple of friendly games behind closed doors, to give Joey and other injured players returning, some real match practice.
There are also two Newcastle Reserve games coming up next Tuersday and the Tuesday after, and we expect Joey to play in both of those games.
Even though Joey has a lot of baggage, he’s always been very enthusiastic, and that’s infectious in the squad.
And he’s always supporting the youngsters, and was at the game when our Youth team beat Crystal Palace to get through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup last week.
It will be good to have Joey back in the squad.