Barton aims to bounce back

PA Sport

Joey Barton maintained his focus was on returning stronger to boost QPR's drive towards Barclays Premier League stability after accepting he deserved to be stripped of the club captaincy and fined six weeks wages for his sending off at Manchester City on the final day of last season.

Barton, 29, was hit with a lengthy suspension and fined £75,000 by a Football Association-appointed independent regulatory commission last month. He was dismissed for elbowing Carlos Tevez, then kicking out at Sergio Aguero as he left the pitch in the match on May 13, before aiming a headbutt in the direction of Vincent Kompany.

Although Barton will not be part of Mark Hughes' squad for the pre-season tour of Asia, the midfielder said in a series of Twitter posts: "I wish to put it behind me now and help QPR, once available of course, push on towards the top half. I was stupid and that what happens when u [sic] do dumb things. I am confident ill [sic] bounce back. Cannot wait."

Barton has been warned that his contract will be terminated should he "seriously breached the club's disciplinary procedures again".

Barton added: "I was reckless and deserved every punishment I received. Money comes and goes, it's not important to me. Losing the captaincy and missing 12 games is what really hurts."

Barton has a long history of controversy, both on and off the pitch.

In 2008, he was given a six-month jail term after admitting assault and affray. During his time as a player at Manchester City, Barton was fined after he stubbed a lit cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy during the club's Christmas party. Earlier this month, Barton was arrested for affray following a night out in Liverpool with his girlfriend.

In his official club statement, the player issued an unreserved apology.

"My behaviour was wrong and I accept the punishment that has been imposed upon me as a result," the statement read.

"I apologise to the manager, my team-mates and of course the QPR fans for my actions. I also apologise to the Manchester City players, staff and supporters."

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