Newcastle manager Keegan to give Barton "second chance"
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said on Sunday that he is willing to give troubled midfielder Joey Barton another chance with the English Premier League club, the dpa reported.
Barton is due to return to the club later this month after serving a six-month prison sentence for assault.
Keegan told BBC radio that Barton, considered one of the best midfielders in the country, deserved a second chance.
"People have opinions, and you must respect those, but mine is to give him another chance and back him," Keegan said. "There are a lot of things he needs to put right - but I think he can do it.
"It's well documented he's had his problems, but I knew of them when I took over. He's served his sentence, he's been punished for what he did wrong.
"The world is littered with people that have been given a second chance and taken it with both hands. I told him as long as from now on he did things right and started to rebuild the confidence of people around him, I would stick by him.
"The Joey Barton that we had in the last couple of months of the season was a much-changed character.
"I'm hoping that he'll come back and we'll get him fit. It's up to Joey to put things right now - he's got to win over a lot of people."