Joey Barton reveals Newcastle players told Alan Pardew: 'We back Chris Hughton... but we'll still play for you'

By Sportsmail Reporter

Joey Barton has insisted there has been no dressing-room backlash against Alan Pardew even though some senior players told the new Newcastle manager to his face they questioned his appointment.

Barton said the squad are right behind Pardew despite being upset by the sacking of Chris Hughton.

Barton said: 'There's a lot of stories going round this week about our dressing room - player revolt, backlash and all that. We care too much about each other first and foremost to act so unprofessionally.

Good start: Newcastle celebrated a 3-1 win over Liverpool in new manager Alan Pardew's first game in charge at St James' Park

Good start: Newcastle celebrated a 3-1 win over Liverpool in new manager Alan Pardew's first game in charge at St James' Park

'It wouldn't happen in our dressing room because there's such a great spirit in there.

'And we also know it's not Alan's fault that Chris got sacked. Obviously he's come in and he's got to pick up from where Chris left off and it's nothing to do with him why Chris has been sacked. That was a decision made at boardroom level.'

Man of the match: Joey Barton shone in Pardew's debut

Man of the match: Barton shone in Pardew's debut

Barton said that the players had spoken openly and honestly to Pardew when he took over. 'We don't know the real reason behind Chris leaving. We were told it was to push the club on to the next level and a lot of us questioned Alan's appointment,' said the midfielder.

'We sat down with Alan and spoke and said "look, none of us will say anything behind your back that we wouldn't say to your face". We've got that open honesty in that dressing room.

'We said "we're disappointed with Chris going because we held him in such affection, because he's a good football guy as everyone knows, but we're professionals, we know it's not your fault, as long as you're open and honest with us we'll have no problem - we'll take this club forward".'

Barton, man of the match on Saturday as the Magpies gave Pardew the perfect start by beating Liverpool, said the new manager had taken the right approach. He added: 'Alan's come in and he's not tried to rock the boat. He didn't come in and say "right, I want to do everything this way" which has worked out perfectly. Just a few minor tweaks from what we were doing and it paid dividends.'

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