Date: 29th October 2008 at 6:32pm
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Given he`s taken a total battering from the media in the last two years it was a breath of fresh air to actually see Joey Barton getting some positive accolades from Fleet Street`s finest this morning. Accolades is probably going a bit too far but there was a grudging admission that our number 7 had taken the first step into mainstream rehabilitation.

Fighting Oba for the ball, his easy stroke past a bizarre Carson goal line movement confirmed we`ve got a player not short of bottle, something we`re going to need in spades in this relegation battle. Barton said:

‘That was for all our fans and all the people I have let down. My only wish now that it is the first of many. Once the referee pointed to the spot, I really fancied it – although I know a lot of the other players did as well. It was never an issue. I am always one to step up to the plate. One thing that can never be levelled at me is that I have lacked courage. Through my own stupidity, I have had to come back from things, and that has shaped me for what I have got to do.’