Taylor calls for leniency for Barton

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Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has urged the Football Association to be lenient with Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton when he appears before a disciplinary panel on Friday.

Barton is attending the hearing having pleaded guilty to a charge of violent conduct after his training ground attack on former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo in May 2007.

"I think we can expect a number of games suspension but hopefully some will be suspended to try to encourage some better behaviour from him," Taylor told Radio 5 Live.

The 26-year-old was given a suspended sentence - imposed while he was serving time in prison for a Liverpool city centre attack on a teenager - for his assault on Dabo but the FA have taken further action.

Taylor admits Barton has had his fair share of chances but believes the player should be given an incentive to improve his behaviour.

"It is a difficult one when you are trying to get justice right in any sphere of life," he said. "He has previous incidents and you are not usually expected to take those into account but you can't ignore those instances.

"It (Barton's attack) is not professional and there is a disciplinary system in place.

"Manchester City took action but sometimes in football it can be triple jeopardy you can be fined by the club, be suspended and then punished by the FA."

Barton was hoping to call on Kevin Keegan, his manager at Manchester City and Newcastle, to be a character witness but the former England coach's resignation from his job at St James' Park on Thursday throws that into doubt.

Taylor expects the FA to throw the book at Barton but hopes there is some room for optimism, claiming: "They will want to make an example to look to make sure it does not happen again."

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Joey Barton
Manchester City
Gordon Taylor
Kevin Keegan

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