Barton admits to anger issues
Joey Barton has admitted he will always have anger-management issues and is unable to change his ways after accepting a three-match ban for punching Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen.
The 28-year-old Newcastle midfielder accepted a Football Association charge of violent conduct after punching Pedersen during Blackburn's 2-1 win at St James' Park on Wednesday.
Barton told the Daily Mail: "Everyone knows I have anger issues and on the pitch people are going to test my temperament. I'm not a changed man because it's who I am. It's something inside me, a natural instinct that makes me stand and fight. I just continue to work at it."
Barton's punch on Pedersen was missed by referee Mike Jones but when the FA issued the charge the Newcastle midfielder accepted the punishment which will see him miss games against Fulham, Bolton and Chelsea.
"I'll always be fighting to curb it and it's a battle for me. I have these anger issues but I know that when it turns to rage, like it did against Blackburn, it is not acceptable."
Barton, who issued an apology to Pedersen, both clubs and to his club's fans, added: "It was a moment of stupidity from me.
"I shouldn't have reacted like that even if it was slightly provoked. I can't condone it and I deserve a ban. I am human but I have made a mistake I regret."
Barton also revealed that he would be phoning Pedersen to apologise to his opponent personally.