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Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Barton eyes fresh Newcastle start

Newcastle midfielder Joey barton
One thing that can't be levelled at me is that I've lacked courage

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton

Controversial Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has dedicated his goal against West Brom to all the people he has let down during his recent troubles.

Barton, making his first start since his spell in prison for assault and affray, scored a penalty on Tuesday to help his side to a 2-1 victory.

"That was for all our fans and all the people I have let down," said Barton.

"Through my own stupidity, I have had to come back from things, and that has shaped me for what I have got to do."

The 26-year-old's first season with the Magpies was overshadowed by his disciplinary problems and last Saturday he 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 team-mate Ousmane Dabo on the training ground.

But he repaid interim Magpies manager Joe Kinnear's selection policy with the opening goal in Tuesday's game.

Kinnear insisted that all Barton wants to do is play football

Kinnear revealed afterwards 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.

"Once the referee pointed to the spot, I really fancied it - although I know a lot of the other players did as well. I hope that it is the first of many," added Barton.

"I'm always one to step up to the plate. One thing that can't be levelled at me is that I've lacked courage."

Kinnear was full of praise for Barton after the game.

"He showed a lot of bottle to do that. 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," said Kinnear.

"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.

"Whatever happened in the past [with Barton] has gone. It's done and dusted and hopefully Newcastle fans will see that."

Barton has also earned praise for his on-field behaviour from Professional Football Association chief executive Gordon Taylor.

"Without any shadow of a doubt that is the right way to go about it, the football world will be pleased if he carries on doing well on the pitch," said Taylor.

"It was a good start against West Brom and we hope that continues."

Taylor has backed Barton to overcome the hostile reception that he is certain to face at away grounds.

"Football crowds have banter with their opposition, that is the fun of the sport, as long as it isn't vindictive and over the top," Taylor added.

"Sometimes it is best to leave it to stewards and the club concerned to deal with it when it is over the top, and not look to create a reaction or cause trouble."

Albion manager Tony Mowbray blamed first-half defensive errors for his side's defeat, but suggested his strikers could have done more.

"The first half was as poor as we've been defensively," said Mowbray. "We didn't get out of the blocks, we were very sloppy.

"Did we deserve anything? Maybe. We had a lot of possession and plenty of efforts on their goal without working the keeper too much.

"At the moment we're getting into some great positions with plenty of opportunities but the ball's not going in the net."

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see also
Newcastle 2-1 West Brom
28 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Tuesday's football photos
28 Oct 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
28 Oct 08 |  Premier League
I want to be role model - Barton
23 Oct 08 |  Newcastle

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