Newcastle manager Alan Pardew praised midfielder Joey Barton after his man of the match performance in their 4-1 win over Wolves.
Goals from Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and Jonas Gutierrez helped lift Pardew’s men into ninth place in the English Premier League, and give them some valuable breathing space in the relegation battle consuming the bottom half of the table.
Barton delivered one of his best performances for the season and Pardew was quick to praise the 28-year-old.
“I felt he would be slightly disappointed, because we thought Kevin Nolan was going to miss out today through illness,” he told Sky Sports.
“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.”
“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.”
The story was a different one for Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, after his side’s three match unbeaten run ended at St James’ Park, and the Irishman was left frustrated by some poor defending.
“The part of our team that has been terrific, the defending side of it, which has really been playing very, very well over recent weeks, it wasn’t at its best for the first goal,” McCarthy said.
“We conceded a real sloppy one and that changed the run of the game and any nerves that Newcastle might have had, it eases those and makes it difficult for us.”
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