KINGSTON UPON HULL, United Kingdom (AFP) - Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has apologised for his shocking headbutt on Hull's David Meyler, claiming the ugly incident "was a heat of the moment thing" during his side's 4-1 win on Saturday.
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.
The unsavoury incident 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.
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 and I will have to sit down from now on," Pardew said.
"I didn't mean to do anything aggressive. I did move my head forward and that's enough. I tried to push him away with my head and I shouldn't have done that.
"Of course I apologise. I represent a big club. It's a shame because it's taken the gloss off a terrific performance. My team were terrific and it's only myself who had a poor performance."
Despite his apology, the 52-year-old is likely to face severe punishment from the Football Association, 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.
- 'Sure Alan will regret unsavoury incident' -
"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 and Newcastle's supporters."
Magpies goalkeeper Tim Krul came to his side's rescue early on with an incredible double save from Alex Bruce, the first from a header and then as the ball went free he dived to bravely block Bruce's follow-up effort.
Almost immediately Newcastle went down the other end and broke the deadlock as Remy and Mathieu Debuchy linked up well down the right, with the latter finding Sissoko, who neatly took his chance.
However, Hull took the upper hand following Sissoko's goal with Nikica Jelavic twice going close, first with a superb header and then a free-kick which deflected off the wall and came back off the crossbar.
Newcastle made them pay for that as Maynor Figueroa under hit a backpass to Allan McGregor and Remy pounced on it to stroke home 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 Krul to head into the net.
However, the visitors restored the two-goal advantage through Sissoko, who started the move from inside his own half, passed to Remy, who found Gouffran and when McGregor saved his shot Sissoko was on hand to roll the ball into the net.
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.