Barton Will Not Be Rushed!

Last updated : 08 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
The troubled midfielder Barton has been training with Newcastle for the past week after being released from jail after serving two months of a six-month sentence.

Kevin Keegan, knowing Barton can expect a 'mixed' reception from opposing AND Newcastle fans, is refusing to throw the 25-year-old in at the deep end until he is match fit.

Keegan: "Joey has been working very hard on a fitness programme and is just getting his head down, which is what he has done ever since I came back to this club.

"His training and attitude have been excellent while I've been at this club. I've spoken to him and know he has just wants to get back to playing football - simple as that.

"Joey is fine, but he won't be featuring in any games until we get him match fit. There's no way he can regain match fitness between now and the start of the season and there's no way it would be sensible to give him a game at the moment.

"Normally you need a month to five weeks to get match fit."