Joy at last for troubled Barton

Newcastle United interim manager Joe Kinnear commended Joey Barton for his first-half penalty that set the team on their way to victory over West Brom.

Newcastle United interim manager Joe Kinnear commended Joey Barton for his first-half penalty that set the team on their way to victory over West Brom.

"He showed a lot of bottle to do that," said Kinnear after Tuesday's 2-1 win.

"He wasn't on penalties and he'd have been in trouble if he'd missed, but fair play to him, he's obviously a very confident lad.

"He stuck it away well and he's trying to prove a point - all he wants is to play football and be given a chance."

Kinnear revealed that Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins had been earmarked to take penalties, but Barton "grabbed hold of it" after Ryan Donk had brought down Shola Ameobi, to score Newcastle's opening goal.

Barton's first year at Newcastle has been overshadowed by his disciplinary problems, including a six-month jail term for assault.

Earlier in the month, the midfielder had missiles thrown at him by Sunderland fans as he warmed up on the sidelines during the 2-1 derby defeat.

His substitute appearance in that match was his first since completing a six-match ban for assaulting his former Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo at training.

"Whatever happened in the past has gone. It's done and dusted and hopefully Newcastle fans will see that," added Kinnear.

Kinnear expressed disappointment that his side had not gone further ahead after a dominant first-half performance.

"I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half and created numerous chances, but I was disappointed that we didn't take them," he said. - BBC

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