Barton closing in on return

Chris Hughton has revealed the 26-year-old could be back for the Magpies’ crucial games against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Fulham, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

“It’s very much the case that we are looking at having Joey back for the last four or five matches,” he told nufcTV.

“It’s been very frustrating for him and for us as well because he’s a quality player.

“We have to cope with that, but when we get him back that will be a big bonus for us.”