Barton thrilled with new team's mentality, fight

The 30-year-old mercurial midfielder was full of praise for his side's mentality to get back into Thursday's Europa League game from two goals down against Fenerbahce.
Joey Barton was delighted to finally made his debut for Marseille as it fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with Fenerbahce at the Saracoglu Stadium in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and held plenty of praise for his new teammates for their ability to come back from a two-goal deficit.

The English midfielder has been on loan at the Ligue 1 side since moving there Aug. 31, but a 12-game domestic ban after lashing out at Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Vincent Kompany in last year's Premier League season finale, had prevented him from making his debut.

Barton, dubbed the ‘sweet and tender hooligan’ by L’OM fans, managed 71 minutes of action before being substituted and shortly after the game he told the official team website: "I'm very proud to have played my first game for Marseille. We really do have a very good team, a team that plays together. The team is ambitious and plays good football.”

The former Newcastle midfielder was also complimentary about Thursday night’s opponents while also praising the mentality showed by his teammates in fighting back to salvage a point away from home.

"Physically, I'm not 100 percent after four months without a game, but I'm getting there," Barton said. “It was a very difficult match against excellent opponents in a fantastic stadium with a truly amazing atmosphere. I was really impressed by the team's great spirit and we fought back to get a draw. I loved that spirit."

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