Pardew praise for Barton
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was delighted with Joey Barton's performance against Wolves.
Last Updated: 02/04/11 6:57pm
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was delighted that Joey Barton did not allow the disappointment of missing out on the club's captaincy to impact upon his performance against Wolves.
The midfielder delivered a man of the match display in a 4-1 win at St James' Park, where Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and Jonas Gutierrez all scored, with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake only giving Wolves a slight revival at 3-1.
But Pardew had feared that Barton, who had been the target of rough provocation in the reverse fixture at Molineux, might have been distracted after being denied the opportunity to lead Newcastle out.
Regular skipper Nolan had been suffering from illness and Pardew told Barton on Friday that he was set to stand in as captain if his team-mate was not fit enough to be involved.
Pardew was therefore delighted that Barton did not sulk when Nolan retained the captaincy, as the Newcastle manager told Sky Sports: "I felt he would be slightly disappointed, because we thought Kevin Nolan was going to miss out today through illness.
"I said to Joey, 'I'm going to give you the armband and lead by example'.
"But when Kev came back I thought he (Barton) might have wished he was captain. But he played like a captain today."
The victory was only Newcastle's second in 10 Premier League games and Pardew was pleased to stop a rot, which had put last season's Championship winners in danger of being dragged into the relegation scrap.
But three points ensured Newcastle moved into the top half of the table and have now collected 39 points to sit seven clear of the drop zone.
Pardew said: "There was a lot of pressure on us today because we could have got sucked into that situation where all the bottom teams are winning."