Joey Barton apologises for 'stupid reaction' that led to red card
QPR captain Joey Barton has apologised to his team-mates, supporters and Tom Huddlestone after he was sent-off during the club's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hull City.
The former England international was given his marching orders after 34 minutes after appearing to punch Tigers midfielder Huddlestone in a sensitive area with the sides level at 1-1.
It was the eight successive game that Barton has picked up a card, with seven yellows proceeding today's match.
After the game Barton offered his apologies on his Twitter account and added that his actions were not malicious and was defending Darnell Furlong on his R's debut.
"Young kid making his debut has made a good tackle. Couple of Hull players trying to get him sent off," he tweeted. "My job as captain is to protect him.
"I've tried to prevent Hull's players influencing referee as u can see by me pushing Bruce away.
"My actions towards Huddlestone were certainly not malicious, it was a stupid reaction to being barged but I can appreciate it wasn't right.
"I'm gutted I got sent off. I've let my teammates down today and being someone who puts the team above everything else I'm gutted about that.
"I've apologised to the lads and would like to apologise to all QPR fans who travelled today," he added.
Barton was critical earlier this week of Jordan Henderson over the stand-in Liverpool captain's lack of leadership in the Mario Balotelli penalty debacle, but he will lament his own such qualities after his bizarre dismissal at the KC Stadium.
The reaction online was unforgiving in the aftermath.
"If Joey Barton isn't talking bollo**s he's punching them," posted one Twitter user.
"QPR captain Joey Barton sent off. What did he say about Henderson not being captain material?" tweeted another person in relation to Barton's comments earlier this week.
Joey Barton should've got a red card for this at Xmas. https://t.co/5kgRC1lxQP— Oi (@_yon_mon) February 21, 2015
I knew Joey Barton still had it in him all this good behavior was a bit strange lol— Vectra (@Djvectra) February 21, 2015
Joey Barton has now been shown a card in 8 consecutive Premier League games - 7 yellows & one red.— Premier League Stuff (@EPLStuff) February 21, 2015
Joey Barton being an idiot, Charlie Austin scoring a goal. (Then we lose away.) Same every week.— James Jones (@rjamesjones) February 21, 2015
Joey Barton was sent off. On a more suprisingly news, the sun was bright— ArRaziq™ (@arraziq7) February 21, 2015
If Joey Barton isn't talking bollocks he's punching them.— Brad Rogers (@RogersBrad2000) February 21, 2015
Joey Barton now in the changing room desperately flipping through 'The Art of War' for quotes about punching opponents in the genitals.— Richard Jones (@RichLJones) February 21, 2015