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I'll spark United: Barton

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JOEY BARTON today revealed he is desperate to help Newcastle United revive their season following a mini-slump.


The England midfielder could only watch on in agony as United were dumped out of the Carling Cup at Arsenal a week ago.


And then the Scouse midfielder had to swallow the bitter pill of losing to his old club Manchester City on Saturday.


Now, after pulling on a black-and-white shirt for the first time since shattering his metatarsal at Carlisle in pre-season, Barton is feeling good again but knows he will have to take things step by step.


The Everton game at St James’ Park on Sunday is likely to come too soon for Barton, with Allardyce insisting he is still some way away from a Premier League return.


But he underlined his desire to conjure up some midfield magic on his return to first team duty.


Barton showed glimpses of what he is capable of last night and got through unscathed as he covered almost every blade of grass in Newcastle Reserves’ 2-2 draw with Manchester City at Sport City.


And in response to the concerns of the Toon Army that the Magpies are lacking creativity in the current side, Barton told the Chronicle exclusively: “I suppose that’s why I was brought to Newcastle.


“I certainly hope and feel I can bring energy and goals from midfield.


“Hopefully when I come back I can get to a level where I do myself justice and get off to a good start.


“I am desperate to get involved and desperate to make a good impression with Newcastle United.”


Barton’s next slice of action is likely to be the second string’s clash against Wigan at Kingston Park on Monday night.


But the Huyton-born star says he is taking things one step at a time and doesn’t want to return too early.


He added: “I am still a little bit away from being fit to start for the first team.


“It was important to play 45 minutes. I had three training sessions before this, but playing a game is a bit more competitive.


“There was a little bit of contact, but it is always enjoyable to play again and I have come through it with no knocks.


“I got what I needed from last night and enjoyed every bit of it. The lads worked very hard last night.


“It is massively disappointing to join a new club and then not be involved.


“I don’t know if I am ahead of schedule or not. It was meant to be six weeks to start with, but the break was worse than we first thought.


“It is just important that we take things step by step and I don’t rush back too soon.


“I am doing everything I can to get back and hopefully get back in contention as soon as possible.


“The body always lets you know when you are ready and it will tell me when it is ready to go.


“Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.”


He added: “I will see how I feel in the next few days. I have a few aches and pains but that is what you usually get in football.


“I will train with the team Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then just see what happens from there.” There is no doubt that Barton would loved to be involved against his boyhood idols Everton on Sunday but the £5.8m man says he isn’t prepared to risk his fitness for sentimental reasons and hopes this will be the end of his injury problems at Gallowgate.


He went on: “I am gutted to miss Everton, but you are governed by what your body tells you.


“I don’t want to come back and miss more games.


“If you rush back you could end up out for a significant amount of time, and if I have to miss Everton to make sure I am fit for the rest of the season, so be it.


“Hopefully this will be the end of my injuries at Newcastle United.”


And reflecting on the loss to his old side Manchester City at the weekend, Barton was philosophical.


He said: “We were disappointed after Saturday, but it isn’t easy to go anywhere and get good results these days in the Premier League.


“Although we are disappointed that we lost, because we see Man City as rivals for a European place, we can bounce back against Everton.


“It will be tough against a team that are also going for a top-six place but I am sure the lads can do it.”

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