Warnock and Barton rage at red card

QPR (1) vs NORWICH (2)

QPR manager Neil Warnock defended captain Joey Barton after he was controversially sent off in a defeat that pushed Rangers deeper into trouble.

Barton gave the home side the lead but was then shown a straight red card following a clash with Norwich’s Bradley Johnson, who indicated he had been headbutted.

The visitors took full advantage, Anthony Pilkington quickly equalising before Steve Morison’s late winner condemned QPR to an eighth defeat from 11 games.

Warnock, whose side lie 17th in the Premier League, said: “He has not been headbutted at all, not in a million years. The movement of him going backwards has conned the referee. Joey could have avoided the situation, but it doesn’t warrant the reaction from Johnson. I think we have been mugged. The ref has not even seen it.”

Barton, writing on Twitter, called it a “ridiculous decision” and alleged that neither referee Neil Swarbrick nor his assistant had seen the incident.

“Feel for the officials, they’ve been conned,” said the midfielder. “Admitted to me at HT [half-time] they never saw it. I was pulled back 1st, then kicked 2nd. Linesman definitely never saw it, all he seen was Johnson’s reaction.”