Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton sends Newcastle United message ahead of UCL return | OneFootball

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Football League World

·19 September 2023

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton sends Newcastle United message ahead of UCL return

Article image:Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton sends Newcastle United message ahead of UCL return


  • Joey Barton has sent his support to Newcastle ahead of their return to the Champions League this evening.
  • Eddie Howe's side are set to begin their campaign against AC Milan at San Siro, before also facing PSG and Borussia Dortmund in the group stages of the competition.
  • This is the first time since the 2003/04 season that Newcastle have competed in any stage of the Champions League.

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton has sent his support to his former club Newcastle United, ahead of one of the biggest days in the club's recent history.

The Magpies are set to return to Champions League action for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday night when they face AC Milan at San Siro, and they will have at least one supporter from within the Football League, in the form of Barton.

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How did Barton's playing career at Newcastle go?

As a player, Barton joined Newcastle from Manchester City for a reported £5.8million in the summer of 2007.

The midfielder spent four years with the Magpies, during which time he made 84 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring eight goals.

He eventually left the club four years after his arrival at St James' Park, when he moved to QPR on a free transfer in August 2011.

However, it seems that the now 41-year-old, who retired from playing in 2017 and is now making a name in management for himself with Bristol Rovers in League One, is still keen to see Newcastle enjoy success on the biggest of stages.

What has Barton said about Newcastle's return to the Champions League?

Following their third place finish in the Premier League last season, Newcastle have of course, qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.

This will mark the first time that the Magpies have competed in European football's premier club competition, since the 2003/04 campaign.

Eddie Howe's side will begin their European campaign in Italy on Tuesday night, when they face the competition's semi finalists from last season, in the form of AC Milan.

Also included in their group for this season, are French champions Paris Saint-Germain, and last season's Bundesliga rummers-up, Borussia Dortmund.

With Newcastle understandably keen to give some build-up to their return to the Champions League on their social media accounts, Barton was quick to send a message of support to his old club.

Responding to one of Newcastle's posts on X - formerly known as Twitter - about Tuesday night's clash with AC Milan, the Bristol Rovers manager wrote: "Great to see. Good luck to all involved".

Ironically, Barton will not actually be able to watch Newcastle in action on Tuesday night, as that game conicides with his current club's clash with West Ham's Under 21s at The Memorial Stadium, in the group stages of this season's EFL Trophy.

How big a challenge will Newcastle be facing in the Champions League?

It does feel as though it could be a big ask for Newcastle to get out of their group in the Champions League this season.

The Magpies are up against some of the very top teams in Europe, all of whom have much more experience and know-how at this level of the game.

Indeed, a slow start to the Premier League season may also be a concern, with two wins and three defeats in five leagues games not exactly the most inspiring return.

Even so, not many would have expected to see Newcastle playing back at this level so soon, meaning you cannot rule out the prospect of them pulling off something unexpected here as well.

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