Furious QPR boss defends Barton

QPR manager Neil Warnock defended Joey Barton after the midfielder was sent off during his side’s home defeat against Norwich.

Barton gave Rangers the lead after 11 minutes but was later red-carded for violent conduct after clashing with Bradley Johnson.

A furious Warnock insisted the dismissal, which was apparently for a headbutt, was undeserved and he also branded Johnson a “disgrace”.

“It’s not easy to speak about it without getting carried away,” said Warnock.

“Johnson hasn’t been headbutted at all – not in a million years. The movement of his [Johnson’s] head has conned the linesman.

“I’ve been to see him [the referee] and he says he [Barton] headbutted him [Johnson]. But Johnson’s a clever man.

“To go back like he did was a disgrace. It didn’t warrant that reaction. Joey’s not daft enough to headbutt someone with every camera in the country on him – you’ve got to give him more credit.

“I’ve seen Johnson do that a few times, so it doesn’t surprise me. It’s getting a fellow pro sent off and that’s not on. I think he should be punished.

“And there were two vicious tackles on Joey – one just before he got sent off – and they weren’t even booked.

“He [Barton] shouldn’t put himself in that situation. But that doesn’t justify another professional getting him sent off like that.”

Barton believes the red card could be rescinded on appeal, but Warnock hinted that he is reluctant to challenge the decision.

“I’ve not got any confidence in the appeals procedure. We’ll talk about it,” he said.

Rangers’ 2-1 loss extended their winless run to eight matches and means they will slide into the bottom three if Wigan beat Sunderland tomorrow.

But Warnock remained defiant and insisted that his planned spending in the transfer market will turn their fortunes around.

He said: “The lads were fantastic – and were against Arsenal too – and to get two defeats you don’t deserve knocks the stuffing out of you.

“We’ve got to regroup, hopefully get two or three players in, and look forward to the second half of the season.

“It’s easy to look at the table and be concerned, but I look at 10th and 11th and think we should be there already.

“We should have more points, and they would have put us in a really good position.”

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook