Hughton denies Barton rift

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Stand-in Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was keen to play down a reported bust-up between him and Joey Barton.

The controversial midfielder was left on the bench for Newcastle's 1-1 draw at West Brom after talk of a disagreement between the pair.

A coy Hughton refused to directly deny an incident but looked to play down any talk of a falling out. "Joey was part of the squad that travelled with us. There are decisions that have to be made, my decision was to go with two big lads up front for tactical reasons," he repeated on numerous occasions.

Asked how Barton took the decision to be named among the substitutes, he replied: "He took it the same as everybody, everybody wants to play.

"He was disappointed but that's the decision I made."

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Joey Barton
West Bromwich Albion

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