Barton reveals title ambition

08 October 2009 08:34
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Joey Barton is hoping to play an important role in Newcastle's promotion push this season.

The combative midfielder is currently sidelined after undergoing foot surgery, but hopes to be back in contention by the New Year.

The Magpies will be hoping to be well on course to securing an immediate return to the Premier League by then.

Having slipped out of the top tier last term, and with boardroom wrangling continuing to present an unwelcome distraction, the North East side deserve much credit for the manner in which they have gone about their task this season.

They currently top the second tier standings, and Barton has admitted that is where they are hoping to end the campaign.

"This isn't a case of having a mourning process and being like, weren't we unlucky to go down because of X, Y and Z," he told Sky Sports News.

"That would have been easy to do because of what was rumbling on in the boardroom. Thankfully as a group of men we got together and said we are going to do things differently."

On his injury and hopes for the immediate future, Barton added: "I eventually sat down with the club and said this isn't fair on anyone, the lads who aren't playing because I'm playing, to the people who pay to come and watch and you, and most of all myself.

"You try and run off injuries sometimes, but when you get a bit older you think this isn't possible.

"I have had the operation now and I'm looking forward to getting back fit and coming back and being an impact player for Newcastle in terms of winning the Championship."

DisagreementBarton has also lifted the lid on the sometimes frosty relationship he has enjoyed with the coaching staff at Newcastle.

The one-cap England international suffered a training ground bust-up with current interim boss Chris Hughton earlier this season, but insists the incident was quickly forgotten about.

"I will be the first to admit that I was in the wrong. I shouldn't have said what I said when I said it," he said.

"I'm not saying what I said wasn't right. But for me and Chris it was over in minutes. For everyone, the team, it was over in minutes and it was rectified.

"Chris made the decision, he put me on the bench (for the next game), and that was the right thing to do. I didn't question it and make a fuss out of it, whereas in the past, when I was younger and a bit more hot-headed and not as mature as I am now, I could have handled it differently."

Barton also suffered a falling out with Alan Shearer towards the end of last season as the Magpies legend attempted to steer the club to safety.

"Alan is a guy I have got an awful lot of respect for as a player and as a man," he added.

"We had a much publicised disagreement in the dressing room. It got out to the public domain, which isn't ideal, but the reason I didn't comment on it or try and put my side across is because my thinking is, what goes on in dressing rooms should stay in dressing rooms.

"It never happened in this instance, but I didn't get drawn into it because I have a lot of respect for him as a footballer and as a man, and I still do."

Source: SKY_Sports

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