Barton - We have title chance

On-loan Marseille midfielder Joey Barton believes the Ligue 1 side are as capable of winning the title as the clubs around them.

Barton has had a whirlwind introduction to life in the French top-tier, playing three games over the last week after completing the 12-match league ban he picked up with parent club QPR on the final day of last season.

The 30-year-old, who had previously made five UEFA Europa League appearances for the French side, started the 1-0 win over Lille and the midweek 4-1 defeat to Lyon before providing two assists in Marseille's 2-1 victory at Brest on Sunday.

Marseille are now second in Ligue 1 and while Barton was critical of his individual displays, he believes the 2009-10 winners are contenders to lift the trophy.

"We have as much chance as other teams to win Le Championnat," said the midfielder, on loan at Marseille for the season.

He added: "My two assists? That is not important, despite the fact the team won.

"Against Lyon I was simply not good enough, and I won't say I was tired as an excuse."

Despite Barton's indifference, Marseille coach Elie Baup was quick to praise his performance against Brest.

"I knew he was ready to play several matches in a row," said Baup.

"He is fresher than the other players and that is very good for the rest of the season." He added: "We needed a proud reaction after getting hammered at home to Lyon.

"But it was not only that; we have produced a good game against a team not used to losing at home.

"The only regret is that we did not score a couple more goals.

"Now we want to achieve a positive run. I hope we will achieve it because there are a lot of matches to play and emotions are never the same."