Kinnear told the Evening Chronicle: "It's always difficult for experienced players playing in reserve matches such as this, but Joey did very well.
"He's got plenty of character, so the past won't affect him.
"He just loves his football.
"Other people might have decided not to play, or to be somewhere else."
Kinnear expects there to be plenty of hype surrounding Barton on Wearside on Saturday.
But he says it's all under control.
Kinnear added: "Everybody's going to make something of it, because of Joey's natural temperament.
"You just need to get hold of people. Joey's a very sensible lad deep down.
"I know he's lost the plot in the past, but there won't be any need for that in such a game.
"People are probably waiting for him to do just that, but I think he's too bright to do that."