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Players don't know real reason behind Hughton exit, says former England man

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has insisted that rumours circulating that the players are leading a dressing room revolt against Alan Pardew are nonsense.

Although Barton says that the players are behind the new management, it could not be said for the Newcastle supporters who protested furiously before the 3-1 victory over Liverpool after Chris Hughton was sacked last week.

However, the midfielder concedes that the squad were disappointed to see Hughton leave and confronted their chairman Derek Llambias who had not given a full explanation as to why he had been sacked.

But the former Manchester City player, who put in a man of the match performance at St James' Park against Liverpool, says that Pardew is not to blame for the sacking of Hughton and the players have his full support.

“Alan [Pardew has] come in and he’s not tried to rock the boat,” Barton told talkSPORT.

“He sort of said ‘look let’s stick to what you do best’. He’s seen us from afar, knew what kind of football club we were, and knew what kind of football we were about.

“He didn’t come in and say ‘right, I want to do everything this way’ which has worked out perfectly. Just a few minor tweaks from what we were doing and it paid dividends.

“There’s a lot of stories going round this week about our dressing room – player revolt, backlash and all that. We care too much about each other first and foremost to act so unprofessionally.

“It wouldn’t happen in our dressing room because there’s such a great spirit in there. And we also know it’s not Alan’s fault that Chris got sacked. Obviously he’s come in and he’s got to pick off from where Chris left off and it’s nothing to do with him why Chris has been sacked. That was a decision made at boardroom level.

“We had a meeting with the chairman on Thursday before the new manager was appointed and we all said our piece. A lot of the senior players said exactly what they thought and the reason we did is because we care greatly about this football club. We care about pulling on the shirt and going out and performing.

"And obviously we’re entitled to our say. Ultimately it doesn’t come down to us, the running of the football club, but as I said ‘look it’s important for us to say how we feel, let you know how we feel’ and all our opinions were heard and we move on."

The Newcastle midfielder indicated that there was an air of uncertainty around the players of the real reasons behind the departure of former manager Chris Hughton, but reinforced the message that there is a strong and honest relationship with new boss Pardew.

“We don’t know the real reason behind Chris [Hughton] leaving,’’ said Barton.

"We were told it was push the club on to the next level and a lot of us questioned Alan’s appointment. We sat down with Alan and spoke and said ‘look, none of us will say anything behind your back that we wouldn’t say to your face’. We’ve got that open honesty in that dressing room.

“We said ‘we're disappointed with Chris going because we held him in such affection, because he’s a good football guy as everyone knows, but we're professionals, we know it's not your fault, as long as your open and honest with us we'll have no problem - we'll take this club forward’.”

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