Joey Barton reveals 'respect' for Alan Shearer as past bustup is forgotten

08 October 2009 11:51
Barton has insisted that he has an "awful lot of respect" for Shearer despite rubbishing his former manager in front of his teammates in the changing rooms at Liverpool at the end of last season.

The former Manchester City player was suspended by his club in the wake of their row that prompted many observers to predict that he had played his last game in Newcastle colours in the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.

 Related ArticlesHughton could lose 'caretaker' tagNewcastle 0 Bristol City 0What next for Newcastle?Newcastle board pay price for undermining managerYouTube row ended Kevin Keegan's Newcastle tenureBarton was sent off in the latter stages of the game for a reckless challenge on Xabi Alonso and missed the rest of a season that resulted in relegation from the Premier League for Newcastle.

Barton has now broken his silence on the matter in diplomatic fashion.

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

"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."

Barton also apologised for a row with caretaker manager Chris Hughton at the start of this season ahead of the opening game of the season at West Bromwich Albion.

"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," Barton 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, 27, is still aiming to play an important role in Newcastle's promotion push this season despite being sidelined following foot surgery.

"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," Barton added.

"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."

Despite his colourful past, Barton has become one of the key figures behind the scenes at Newcastle which has been plagued by uncertainty this season as Mike Ashley attempts to sell the club.

"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," Barton said.

"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."

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Source: Telegraph

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