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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Mar 1, 2014

Pardew apologises for Meyler headbutt

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has apologised for his actions during Newcastle’s 4-1 win over Hull as the Magpies manager was sent to the stands for headbutting Tigers player David Meyler.

Hull's David Meyler points accusingly at Alan Pardew after being headbutted by the Newcastle manager.
Alan Pardew confronted David Meyler in an off-field incident at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors were leading 3-1 with 20 minutes to go when Meyler collided with Pardew in attempting to retrieve the ball off the pitch as the hosts chased the game.

The Newcastle manager pushed his head into Meyler’s face, and, following a melee, referee Kevin Friend sent off Pardew while Meyler was booked.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke confirmed the organisation will look into the incident and said Pardew would be "stupid'' not to expect the FA to come down hard on him. "It looks serious and clearly we'll investigate - but there's nothing I can say about that,'' he said.

Pardew told the BBC he meant the Hull player no harm, but admits he has let himself and the club down after an impressive display from the Magpies.

"I did not mean any damage to the guy but I have moved my head forward,” he said. "I tried to push him away with my head but I should not have done that.

"I apologise to everyone. I should not have got involved in it. I will sit down from now on and send [assistant manager] John Carver out there.

"The players were terrific; it was only myself who had a poor performance all-round. I am very, very pleased with the team but very upset with myself."

He later added in his post-match press conference: "He [Meyler] was right on top of me and I wanted to just ease him away from me but obviously I put my head in a forward motion. I want to apologise to him, everyone at Hull and obviously my own fans as well.

"I don't think it was a headbutt. It wasn't a motion that was quick. Sometimes when you're on the sideline like that you can get involved in a moment like that. It was an incident that just flared up all around me. I just wanted to get him away, but with the forward motion... you can't do that.

"Of course, I'm not stupid enough to accept there's going to be no punishment. I'll have to accept whatever comes my way. I believe my behaviour over the years has not resulted in too many fines and sitting in the stands, but this one probably will.

"Definitely from now on I'm going to sit down and stay out of the way. I'll have to sit in the dugout -- hopefully I'll be in the dugout, we'll have to wait and see.

"I want to win games. Perhaps I get too involved in it by standing so close to the action. The thing today has told me to go and sit down, watch the game and keep out of the way.

"Sir Alex Ferguson once said to me, 'go and sit down'. I think he was probably right.''

The incident prompted bookmakers Ladbrokes to announce it has suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to lose his job, with a spokesman saying: "We wait to see how Pardew's actions are dealt with. Keeping the market open during games often keeps us on our toes but we've never come across circumstances like this to date.''

Hull boss Steve Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live that he believes that the pressure placed on top-level managers played a part in Pardew’s actions, but praised his player Meyler for his reaction to the incident.

"He's apologised to us as a club and as far as I'm concerned the matter's over. I've never seen or witnessed anything like that.

"There's no question that Alan's led with his head and he's obviously lost it. I'm sure Alan will regret it and he'll look at himself later on and think 'what the hell have I done?'

"I don't think I've ever seen a manager do anything like that. We're all in a state of shock. It's for Alan to live with and deal with the consequences. I'm sure he'll regret his actions for a long time. I would imagine Alan would be in serious trouble, serious trouble.''

Bruce was at least able to joke that Pardew was fortunate Meyler did not respond in kind. "He's lucky that he didn't get one back! Then he would have been in serious trouble,'' he said. "A 25-year-old against a 50-year-old is a mismatch, isn't it?"

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