Barton apologises for Pedersen punch
Newcastle United's Joey Barton apologised on Thursday for punching Blackburn Rovers' Morten Gamst Pedersen. The incident took place in the 50th minute of Rovers' 2-1 Premier League win at St James' Park on Wednesday.
Hours after the Football Association (FA) charged 28-year-old Barton, he accepted the standard three-game ban for violent conduct without the need for a hearing and apologised for the incident.
Barton will miss Saturday's match at home to Fulham, next weekend's trip to Bolton and Chelsea's visit to St James on 28 November.
"I fully accept that I was in the wrong on this occasion and accept the charge that the FA have brought against me," The Newcastle player said in a statement.
"I would like to apologise to (Newcastle manager) Chris Hughton, my team-mates, our supporters and of course to Morten Gamst Pedersen and Blackburn Rovers.
"This season, I have really been enjoying my football and although I have been on the receiving end of a few robust challenges, I have, up until now, remained calm in the face of provocation and just carried on with the game.
"But I hold my hands up, I reacted badly to the situation on Wednesday night and I deeply regret it. I have been working very hard to keep that side of my game under control and I think it has showed in the way I have been able to get on and enjoy my football this season.
"I look forward to trying to get back into the team once my suspension is over and helping the club maintain its good start to the season," concluded the player.
Barton has had several run-ins with football disciplinary chiefs but Hughton had no complaints regarding his latest punishment.
"We accept the action taken by the FA, and it is of course disappointing to lose Joey for three games," said the Newcastle manager. "He has worked so hard on his game this season, but he knows that he can't react the way he did on Wednesday."