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Barton to draw line under incident
Published : 15 Aug 2011 10:00:21
Gunners striker Gervinho was shown a straight red card on his debut for slapping Barton, moments after the outspoken midfielder had pulled him up from the floor to accuse him of diving to win a penalty. Barton fell to the ground himself then, and has since admitted to "having been hit harder at school", while he also claims he was stamped on by Arsenal's Alex Song.
But, having spent the last month hogging the headlines after being put on the transfer list by Newcastle, Barton wants to move on from the incident and he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Everyone has written about it and the last thing we need as a club, I need as a player is this to drag on."
He added: "The FA and the officials are usually bang on but we're fortunate we have the FA disciplinary committee and I'm sure if there are any further repercussions that they'll get to the bottom of it."
Barton also used the latest of his public confessions to admit he was in the wrong to take a hold of Gervinho, but was adamant he was within his rights to go down, albeit under little duress.
He added: "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."