Pardew wants Barton control

Midfielder urged to continue to curb fighting instincts in survival scrap

Barton: A target for rivals

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hopes that Joey Barton can continue to control his emotions in a tense conclusion to the season.

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The permanently under-scrutiny midfielder is often a target for opponents who attempt to test the 28-year-old's infamously short fuse and gain a numerical advantage in manpower by provoking a red card.

Stoke's Ricardo Fuller initiated an incident last weekend, but, having been banned for three matches earlier in the season after a clash with Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen, Barton managed to avoid lashing out.

Newcastle host Wolves after the international break and, in a match with importance in the Premier League relegation battle, Barton will again find himself facing Karl Henry following a feisty game at Molineux last August.

With Newcastle in danger of being sucked into the heart of the survival scrap after slipping to within four points of the drop zone, Pardew is desperate for Barton to keep some of his own fighting instincts under control.

Provocation

Pardew told The Journal: "If Ricardo Fuller had just run up to me and kicked me, I would have been angry, and Joey was, you saw that in his reaction last weekend.

"I think the referee realised what was going on, he knew what Stoke were trying to do and he handled it very well, as did Joey really.

"There was provocation, but he stayed calm and spoke to the referee. Sometimes he is a target, we have seen that before this season.

"It was crazy at Stoke at times, but Joey knows that they are trying to get him to lose his cool - and he has managed to keep control of his emotions.

"I'm sure other teams will try to do the same sort of thing between now and the end of the season. Joey is one of our key players and they want to stop him, but he knows what they are trying to do."

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