Keegan makes Barton pledge
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Second chance for imprisoned midfielder

Sky Sports

Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan has reiterated his support for Joey Barton as the midfielder prepares to leave prison.

Reports suggest the 25-year-old could be released from jail on 13th August after serving a six-month sentence for assault and affray.

His release would come four days before the Magpies open their Premier League campaign against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but that game would come too soon for the player.

Keegan, though, is willing to give Barton - who was also handed a suspended four-month sentence earlier in July for an incident involving former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo - another chance.
Owen deal

Keegan told the BBC: "My view is to give him another chance and back him. He has served his sentence, he's been punished for what he did wrong.

"The world is littered with people who deserve a second chance, got that chance and took it with both hands. I said I would stick by him and I intend to do that."

Meanwhile, Keegan expects England striker Michael Owen to sign a new deal at St James's Park.

"Hopefully, that will be sorted out within the next two or three weeks," said Keegan when asked about Owen's contract.

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