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Newcastle's Barton: I have England ambitions

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton insists he has ambitions to again play for England.

Only months ago Barton was quoted as saying that players here put too much emphasis on representing the national side. But he said last night: "They [the press] asked me just after I'd been out for 11 weeks with a broken foot and was playing my fourth game for Newcastle reserves if I wanted to play for England. I never said I didn't want to play for England, instead I said my first goal was to get fit and be in the Newcastle side.

"If I'm not playing for Newcastle then I've got no chance of playing for England.

"If I get back to the level that I'm happy with and England reach Euro 2008, then there is a big incentive for fringe players like myself to work that bit harder and be deemed good enough by the coaching staff to be involved in the championships."

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