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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 23 November, 2014

FA to probe headbutt as Pardew apologises

Despite his apology, the 52-year-old is likely to face severe punishment from the FA.

Newcastle United's manager Alan Pardew gestures after confronting Hull City's David Meyler.
Newcastle United's manager Alan Pardew gestures after confronting Hull City's David Meyler.

NEWCASTLE MANAGER ALAN Pardew will face a Football Association investigation after his headbutt on Hull’s David Meyler during his side’s 4-1 win on Saturday.

Pardew apologised for the ugly clash and claimed his actions were just a “heat of the moment thing”, but FA chairman Greg Dyke made it clear the English game’s governing body would launch a full probe into one of the most remarkable incidents in Premier League history.

“Well I’ve only just seen the clip and clearly it looks serious and we will investigate it,” Dyke told BBC Sport. “I can’t really say anything else at this stage.”

Pardew appeared to take umbrage when Meyler pushed him to recover the ball as the hosts tried to get back into the game at 3-1 down during the second-half and the manager offered no protest when referee Kevin Friend sent him off.

Pardew, who has a history of explosive touchline bust-ups including a furious row with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger during his time at West Ham, was quick to accept responsibility for his behaviour when he appeared before the media immediately after the match.

“It was a heat of the moment thing. I massively regret it,” Pardew said.”He 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. You can’t do that.

“I want to apologise to him, everyone at Hull and obviously my own fans as well. Sometimes when you’re on the sideline you can get involved in a moment like that.

“I don’t think it was a headbutt. It wasn’t a motion that was quick.”

Pardew conceded he was certain to face disciplinary action and added: “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.

“Sir Alex Ferguson once said to me, ‘go and sit down’. I think he was probably right. I will have to sit down from now on.”

Despite his apology, the 52-year-old is likely to face severe punishment from the FA, with a long touchline ban possible, while bookmakers installed Pardew as the favourite to be the next top-flight manager sacked.

Hull manager Steve Bruce was keen to draw a line under the incident and said: “We accept Alan Pardew’s apology. He has been big enough and brave enough to come out and apologise which is that you would expect. In the heat of the moment things happen but Alan has apologised.

“I can only be complimentary to David Meyler because of the way he reacted to it. He could have rolled around on the floor but he didn’t.”I am sure Alan will regret an unsavoury incident that I have not seen the like of before. It has obviously tarnished an afternoon for them.”

The scenes overshadowed a fine win for Newcastle as a double by Moussa Sissoko, one from Loic Remy and a late strike by Vurnon Anita saw them to a comfortable win.

Newcastle broke the deadlock in the 10th minute as Remy and Mathieu Debuchy linked up well down the right, with the latter finding Sissoko, who neatly took his chance.

The Magpies struck again as Maynor Figueroa underhit a backpass to Allan McGregor and Remy pounced for his 13th league goal of the campaign.

The hosts reduced the deficit when three minutes into the second-half Curtis Davies benefited from a mistake by Tim Krul to head into the net.

However, the visitors restored their two-goal advantage through Sissoko, who slotted home after McGregor saved Yoan Gouffran’s shot.

Pardew’s red card followed soon afterwards but he was still able to celebrate the fourth goal from the directors’ box when Anita popped up to beat McGregor from close range.

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