Alan Pardew backs Newcastle United Joey Barton

08 April 2011 09:19
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will not seek to gag outspoken midfielder Joey Barton after handing him the captain's armband.

The 28-year-old will lead the Magpies out at Aston Villa tomorrow in the absence of suspended skipper Kevin Nolan.

Barking orders: Barton has been entrusted with the captaincy for this weekend's clash with Aston Villa

Barton's brutally frank comments over his own England pedigree and, in his opinion, Gareth Barry's lack of one, the national team's chances of glory and his infamous clash with former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo, raised a few eyebrows this week.

But Pardew insists he did not think twice about asking a man who has had to be honest with himself over his off-thefield problems to take over from Nolan.

'You have got to face your demons and deal with them, and he has done that,' Pardew said.

Bad memories: Newcastle's last visit to Villa Park saw them relegated to the Championship

'I can't say that I agree with all of Joey's opinions, but they are his opinions and he is strong enough to express them. That's Joey. That's his opinion and I am not going to change his opinions.

'He will be captain of this football club on Sunday and I expect him to carry that armband on to the pitch with discipline and a normal performance, if not perhaps better.'

And Pardew has thrown his weight behind the idea that Barton can add to his single England cap, saying: 'I couldn't disagree. He has been outstanding in most of the games since I have been manager.'

Pile up! Newcastle celebrate their second goal in the 6-0 thrashing of Villa earlier in the season

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Source: Daily_Mail