Sunday 21 January 2018

Barton apologises for costly dismissal

Hull City 2 QPR 1

Joey Barton of QPR reacts as he is sent off by referee Anthony Taylor
Joey Barton of QPR reacts as he is sent off by referee Anthony Taylor
A strike from Nikica Jelevic puts Hull City in the lead
Hull City's Michael Dawson challenges Bobby Zamora
Dame N'Doye of Hull City (28) beats QPR goalkeeper Robert Green to score their winning goal
Dame N'Doye (2L) celebrates with team mates after scoring Hull's winning goal

Rory Dollard

QPR captain Joey Barton has defended his sending-off against Hull, suggesting he was standing up for teenage debutant Darnell Furlong.

It was the ninth sending-off of the controversial midfielder's career - with referee Anthony Taylor having little option but to show red when Barton struck Tom Huddlestone with a cheap shot below the belt. Barton apologised following the defeat but insisted he was attempting to support Furlong, whose full-blooded challenge on Nikica Jelavic set events in motion. Furlong was eventually booked but Barton, who also raised his arm to push Alex Bruce, felt Hull's players were attempting to have the 19-year-old sent off.

"I'm gutted I got sent off. I've let my team-mates down today," said Barton.

Steve Bruce offered a colourful take on Barton's indiscretion, stating: "You can't go punching people in the knackers, can you? When the red mist comes we've all done stupid things."

Bruce was magnanimous to QPR striker Charlie Austin, who cancelled out Jelavic's opener with a fine header then celebrated by clutching his knee. That was a clear reminder to the Tigers of their decision to pull out of a deal for Austin in 2013 due to a failed medical. But Bruce, buoyed by Dame N'Doye's late winner, was full of praise for the one that got away.

"I congratulated Charlie for the way he's handled himself after what happened here because it wasn't easy," he said.

"He showed the manner and dignity of a proper man and it couldn't have been easy. But he's a proper centre-forward and our loss is definitely QPR's gain."

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