Kinnear turns to Barton
Newcastle boss backs controversial midfielder
Last Updated: October 4, 2008 1:11pm
Barton: Kinnear backing
Joe Kinnear believes controversial midfielder Joey Barton is the man to solve Newcastle's on-field leadership crisis.
The Magpies' interim manager feels one reason for their five-game losing streak is a lack of communication among the players, and has backed Barton to provide that when he returns to action.
The former Manchester City midfielder is currently serving a six-game suspension imposed by the Football Association for his training ground assault on ex-Eastlands team-mate Ousmane Dabo in May of last year.
Barton was also handed a four-month suspended prison sentence for the attack, and served 74 days of a six-month sentence over the summer for assaulting a teenager in Liverpool city centre in December.
The one-time England international will be available for selection for the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light on 25th October, and Kinnear has hinted he is ready to throw him straight into the fray, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
Ranting and screaming
The former Wimbledon boss said: "We need somebody to be ranting and screaming information and information has to come out on the pitch.
"We don't have that at the moment. I imagine when Joey Barton comes back that might change. He's a chirpy lad with things to say and he might improve things on the communication front.
"We certainly need people who are going to express themselves to sort things out because you can't always do it from the touchline.
"Have I spoken to Joey? Yes. He's fine. I'm not going to repeat a private conversation but he's been OK.
"To be fair, all the players have been responsible, I have the highest respect for them. But the communication hasn't been good, that's the key area where we've got to improve. We've had two solid days on that."
Fellow midfielder Danny Guthrie will be back in action against Everton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1, eager to make up for lost time following his own three-game ban.
Guthrie was dismissed in the closing stages against Hull City for lashing out at Craig Fagan, leaving the Tigers forward with a broken leg, an incident he has since apologised for.
He said: "The last couple of weeks, I have been a bit down, but I can only blame myself for that. Hopefully, I can end that on Sunday.
"I have spoken to Craig Fagan and apologised, and he was sound about it. He said I shouldn't have done it, but that's football. I said I was sorry about what happened and he was fine about it.
"It is good to be back. It was quite lucky really as it came over an eight-day period due to the Carling Cup game. It was a long wait and it has been good to be back. It has been frustrating for me after doing something so silly.
"You pay the price for not playing and then everything else has happened around me with the manager coming in. I'm glad it is over and now I just want to concentrate on playing football."