Barton blasts 'ridiculous' red card
Joey Barton hit out at a "ridiculous decision" to send him off in Queen's Park Rangers' 2-1 defeat by Norwich at Loftus Road for an apparent headbutt on Bradley Johnson.
After firing the home side in front on 11 minutes, Barton then lost his cool following a tussle with Johnson, when he appeared to headbutt the Norwich midfielder. After consultation with the assistant, he was shown a red card by referee Neil Swarbrick.
However, the QPR captain defended himself on Twitter, saying: "Well feel for the officials, they've been conned. Admitted to me at HT they never saw it. I was pulled back 1st, then kicked 2nd. Linesman definitely never saw it, all he seen was Johnsons reaction. My head dosent move forward at all. Ridiculous decision seen 25 replays."
QPR boss Neil Warnock backed his captain and condemned the reaction of Johnson.
He said: "He has not been headbutted at all, not in a million years. The movement of him going backwards has conned the referee. To go back like he did was a disgrace. It's getting a fellow pro sent off. I think he should be done (punished). I think we have been mugged. The ref has not even seen it."
Norwich boss Paul Lambert maintained he did not see the incident, preferring to instead focus on his own team's efforts.
He said: "I thought the lads deserved to win the game. We started really well and got a foothold, then QPR scored against the run of play, but we kept on going. It is relentless, but we have coped brilliantly to this time."
The Canaries were promoted behind QPR from the npower Championship last season, and have exceeded all expectations to sit comfortably in mid-table.
Lambert knows there are plenty more challenges ahead over the next five months.
He said: "The lads have been great, they seem a really close group and we are all in together. We will take one game at a time now, and if this club survives in its first year, it will be monumental for us."