England Shield
Platt sings Barton's praise

Platt sings Barton's praise

As the England Under-21s prepare to play Macedonia, coach David Platt is poised to give rising star Joey Barton a 21st birthday present to remember...

Former England international Platt has been hit by an injury crisi which has seen his choices for central midfield severly limited. As a result, Manchester City's Barton has been drafted into the England Under-21 squad for the first time.

After an oustanding display in training yesterday, the date of Barton's birthday, there is a good chance that the City midfielder will play in the Cair Stadium in Skopje on Friday.

Although Platt was aware of Barton, who only made his City debut in April, it was praise from fellow Blues midfielder Trevor Sinclair that singled out the youngster.

"I don't know him well enough, but he has given a good account of himself," said Platt.

"He trained well. In fact, I walked off the training pitch thinking `bloody hell'.

"It's hard to step into international football, to go into your first call up and train in the manner he has. You need character and personality. What he has is great energy, more awareness on a football pitch than I gave him credit for, and he has also shown me he has great personality. He surprised me."

On the day of England's match with Croatia at Portman Road, Sinclair approached Platt to tell him just how good Barton was, saying that he should consider him for the Under 21s.

Platt explained: "But then Trevor Sinclair had spoken to me about him, and he is pushing him, and you respect people like Trevor.

"But it wasn't just what Trevor said, it was the fact the other endorsement came from Steven Gerrard, through Trevor, but who knows him very well.

"If he [Gerrard] starts telling me there's a player who will give you everything, he is the type of person you take notice of.

"If you are talking about a midfielder who has come up against another midfield player and knows him and is talking highly of him, you don't ignore it."

Barton didn't do his cause any harm when he scored for City in their recent 3-2 victory over Blackburn - a game which Platt watched on television.

"I saw that game and because of our injury problems I thought there would be no harm in having a closer look," Platt continued.

"But if he keeps training like he did through the week, I will have no problem putting Joey Barton in the middle of the park on Friday night."

Joey Barton 

Nationality: English
Place of Birth: Huyton
Date of Birth: 2 September 1982 
Weight: 11 06 
Height: 5' 11''
Club: Manchester City 
Position: Midfielder

 

Year

Club

Apps.

Goals

2001/02

Manchester City

0

0

2002/03

Manchester City

7

1

2003/04

Manchester City

4

1

 

 

PLATT SINGS BARTON'S PRAISE
03 September 2003

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