Pardew gives Barton license to talk

08 April 2011 04:30
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 in the absence of suspended skipper Kevin Nolan at the end of a week which has once again seen him hit the headlines. 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, have made for interesting reading. However, Pardew insists he did not think twice about asking a man who has had to be honest with himself over his off-the-field problems to take over from Nolan. You have got to face your demons and deal with them, and he has done that," said Pardew. "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 the captain on Sunday of this football club and I expect him to carry that armband on to the pitch with discipline and a normal performance from Joey, if not perhaps better than that because he has got the armband."

Source: PA