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Barton happy to have rediscovered Newcastle form

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton believes he has finally rediscovered the form that prompted his £5.8m move from Manchester City in June 2007. "I spoke after pre-season how good I felt," the 28 year old told BBC Newcastle.

"I never doubted that I had football ability, but it was just being fit enough to show it and now I am."

Barton added: "I was always confident through everything that I was a better player than I was when I was playing for England.

"In the coming months it's up to me to prove that. Thankfully I've had the opportunity to prove it in a good team."

Newcastle's decent start to the Premier League has impressed pundits, who expected the Magpies to struggle, as did the bookmakers who had odds of around 11/4 on a season of struggle at St James' Park.

"There's a lot of lads in our dressing room with ambitions and people to prove wrong," Barton continued.

"And we have as a squad, because of the way everyone wrote us off before a ball had even been kicked."

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