Kinnear reckons Barton is the key for Newcastle

The comment will probably shock St James’ Park faithful, as Barton spent some of the summer in prison and still has two games left of his six-match ban for his assault on former Manchester City ace Ousmane Dabo in May.

Kinnear told the Sun: “We need somebody to be ranting and screaming information out on the pitch.

“We don’t have that at the moment. I imagine when Joey comes back that might change — he’s a chirpy lad with things to say.

“We certainly need people who are going to express themselves to sort things out because you can’t always do it from the touchline.

“Yes I have spoken to Joey. He’s OK but I’m not going to repeat conversations in private. To be fair, all the players have been responsible — I’ve got the highest respect for them.

“But the communication hasn’t been good. That’s the key area where we’ve got to improve. We’ve had two solid days on that.”