Former Newcastle defender Barton: Big Sam needs a trophy

He told The Sun: “I’m not telling Sam what to do, but I’d go after the Carling Cup this season.

“It’s vital the club pick up some silverware and I’d make that my main focus.

“Winning the FA Cup or breaking into the Champions League is probably out of reach at the moment.

“But with the firepower Sam’s got, the club should be aiming to do what the likes of Bolton and Portsmouth have done in the league.

“Newcastle should at least be in the top eight because there’s enough quality there — and a trophy will ensure the fans stay behind him.”