Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barton's Telephone Apology to His Club; Allardyce Plans to Visit Troubled Player to Discuss His Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barton's Telephone Apology to His Club; Allardyce Plans to Visit Troubled Player to Discuss His Future

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards and Paul James

JOEY Barton has apologised to manager Sam Allardyce as he attempts to save his Newcastle United career after he was charged with assault and affray following an incident outside a McDonald's restaurant in Liverpool last week.

Allardyce revealed yesterday he will travel to Hampshire to meet Barton, where he is staying at the Sporting Chances clinic, after the Magpies' vital FA Cup Third Round tie against Stoke City on Sunday to discuss the player's future.

But it seems United's manager is keen to rebuild bridges with the troubled midfielder as he indicated he wants to find out when the 27-year-old is likely to be able to play again for the club.

"I have spoken to Joey today just to find out from him and his solicitors what can and can't be done from our point of view," said Allardyce, who also knows he can ill-afford an early exit from the FA Cup as he strives to hold on to his job at St James's Park. "When we get all that information we will see where we go in terms of him starting training and when he can be selected again.

"I've only spoken to him on the phone and he has apologised for the distress he has caused the club. He is obviously relieved he is out of the Walton holding place. From there he has got to concern himself about his case and try to sort that out now. From our point of view, we need to keep him fit to play if and when he is available again.

"I was hugely disappointed, but I'm not getting sucked into talking about how I felt when I was told about what happened. We can talk about that more when we get together face to face. It couldn't have been worse timing for us and him, what he has allegedly done.

"I would have thought I would see him in the next few days. I hope to see him after the Stoke game. I've got to focus on our third round FA Cup tie at Stoke with the players who are available to play and then I will go and see him.

"I don't know how far the bail restrictions go, someone is going to have to tell me from a legal point of view how far they go, and I don't know when he will be able to play again. …

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