Barton issues apology
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has admitted a charge of violent conduct and apologised to Morten Gamst Pedersen for the punch that will earn him a three-match ban.
The 28-year-old had earlier been charged by the Football Association over an incident during last night's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat by Blackburn.
"I fully accept that I was in the wrong on this occasion and accept the charge that the FA have brought against me," said Barton. "I would like to apologise to Chris Hughton, my team-mates, our supporters and of course to Morten Gamst Pedersen and Blackburn Rovers."
He added: "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."
Barton will miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham and the following two games against Bolton and Chelsea.
Hughton said: "We accept the action taken by the FA, and it is of course disappointing to lose Joey for three games. He has worked so hard on his game this season, but he knows that he can't react the way he did on Wednesday."