'Honest' Barton Wouldn't Want Toon Players To Dive
Joey Barton has confessed to "being hit harder at school" than he was by Gervinho on Saturday ... then he said: "If one of my team-mates got in the box and went down with a bit of slight contact I'd be slightly embarrassed by it. Joey Barton: "I take responsibility for my actions and I shouldn't have gone over and lifted Gervinho up by his shirt, that's not the correct thing to do. I should have let the referee handle it. "I can't take responsibility for what Gervinho did. I did go down easily, I've been hit harder by people at school, but that's not to make what he did right. He raised his hands, we all know the rules about that. I have made a meal of it. "I pulled him from the floor because I felt he was trying to cheat me, my team-mates and my football club out of a point - a point that could be massive for us at the end of the season. "He's actually struck me in the face, and my issue is, if I don't go down, and it's clear the officials didn't see what went on exactly. If I don't go down and he doesn't get sent off, I'm making my own team suffer. "From my point of view I've trained for six weeks, sometimes on my own, as have all the lads. We had our fans there who have grafted all week to pay to come and watch us and I just felt disappointed by Gervinho trying to win a penalty. "There's a fine line. For me, diving and trying to con a ref is cheating. I said what I said about Gervinho prior to seeing the numerous replays. I have to take back blatantly calling him a cheat. I thought he'd fully dived, but I still think he's going in hoping to get a pen but the ref knew what he was up to. "If one of my team-mates got in the box and went down with a bit of slight contact I'd be slightly embarrassed by it. I'm not saying I'd be calling them all the names under the sun but there'd certainly be words in our dressing room. We have a lot of honest players who have respect for their fellow professionals."
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