Football: Sunderland's Phil Bardsley apologises for mocking team after defeat

LONDON (REUTERS) - Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley has apologised to the English Premier League club after mocking the football club's opening day defeat by Fulham on social media.

The club suspended the 28-year-old, currently sidelined with a foot injury, after he posted a comment on Instagram which read: "Great opening day. Hahahhahaha hahahhaha!!!"

The Scotland international had previously angered manager Paolo di Canio after a late night visit to a casino.

"I would like to apologise to the club and supporters for my comments made on social media," Bardsley, referring to the Aug 17 defeat, said in a statement on Sunderland's official website (www.safc.com).

"I understand how they may have been interpreted and it was a serious error of judgement.

"I accept the punishment that has been handed to me by the football club and will now focus my attention and efforts on rehabilitation and regaining my fitness."

Sunderland said he had now returned to the club.