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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Banned Joey Barton 'sorry' for Pedersen punch

Joey Barton
Barton has received four bookings to date during the 2010-11 season

Newcastle's Joey Barton has accepted a violent conduct charge after punching Morten Gamst Pedersen at St James' Park and apologised to the Blackburn player.

The 28-year-old midfielder, will be banned for the Premier League games against Fulham, Bolton and Chelsea.

"I would like to apologise to [Magpies boss] Chris Hughton, my team-mates, our fans and of course to Morten Gamst Pedersen and Blackburn," said Barton.

The Football Association acted after referee Mike Jones missed the incident.

However, the official subsequently assessed video replays, in which Barton appeared to strike Norwegian Pedersen in the midriff, to decide if the offence would have warranted a red card if he had seen it.


"I fully accept that I was in the wrong on this occasion and accept the charge that the Football Association have brought against me," Barton added.

"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."

Barton will be available for selection to Newcastle manager Chris Hughton for his side's trip to West Brom on 5 December.

At full-time in Newcastle's 2-1 defeat at St James' Park, Hughton, Blackburn counterpart Sam Allardyce and Pedersen would not be drawn on the incident.

Hughton frustrated by media treatment of midfielder Barton

But on Thursday, after viewing television footage, Hughton warned that Barton's controversial reputation would heighten attention on the case.

"I have seen it again and I am aware that he has raised his hands," he stated.

"But I am also very conscious that because it's Joey Barton, there will be far more made of it than any other individual."

Also speaking on Thursday, Blackburn assistant boss Neil McDonald agreed with the suggestion that it was a "full-bloodied punch".

"It was unprovoked as well, which probably makes it worse," McDonald added.

Barton, who has won one cap for England, has been involved in several high-profile incidents, including an assault on French midfielder Ousmane Dabo when both players were at Manchester City.

Barton was jailed for six months in 2008 after admitting common assault in a separate case.

He has played an important part in the Newcastle's rise to fifth in the table, featuring in every minute of the newly-promoted side's top-flight campaign.

Defeat at home to Blackburn ended a run of three consecutive league wins for the Magpies.

Pedersen had given Rovers the lead after only three minutes, and although Andy Caroll levelled for the hosts, Jason Roberts hit an 82nd minute winner as the visitors ended Newcastle's run of three consecutive league wins.

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see also
Referee to review Barton 'punch'
11 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Newcastle 1-2 Blackburn
10 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Barton demands tighter Newcastle
25 Oct 10 |  Newcastle

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