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Barton puts Newcastle ahead of England ambitions

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton is shelving his England ambitions to bring silverware to St James' Park.

Barton has suffered a frustrating spell on the sidelines since fracturing a metatarsal within weeks of his £5.8million arrival from Manchester City this summer.

He will play again in a behind-closed-doors friendly tomorrow having set his sights on Tottenham's Premier League visit to St James' Park on October 22.

Barton won his only full England cap to date as a substitute in the friendly clash with Spain at Old Trafford in February, and while that remains his dream, his club will come first.

He told the Evening Chronicle: "England is on the back-burner for me, without a shadow of a doubt.

"I haven't been bought to play for England - I am here to play for Newcastle United.

"People get carried away about playing for their country. It is always nice to be selected, and it is always a privilege and an honour.

"But the thing I have to do first and foremost is to do what I have been bought to do, and that is play good football for Newcastle.

"If England comes, then so be it, but I have played for them once now and that will do for me. I am more interested in winning domestic honours.

"This is my bread and butter and at the minute, hand on heart, I would much rather be successful for Newcastle United than I would for England."

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