Newcastle's Barton: I have England ambitions

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

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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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