FANS’ favourite Bobby Hassell has apologised to the Barnsley supporters for his “uncharacteristic” red card against Bristol City.
Hassell’s crude two-footed challenge on the Robins’ Jon Stead means he is now sidelined with a three-match suspension and will miss the Championship clashes with Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City.
And the international break makes Hassell’s return much longer than he’d like it to be.
“I’m sorry for getting sent-off, I want to apologise to all our supporters. It’s totally out of character for me,” said the 32-year-old, speaking exclusively to The Star.
“I’ve got no complaints, I knew straight away that I was going to get sent-off. You can’t go in [for the tackle] with studs showing in this day and age, so I knew what was coming.
“To be fair to Jon Stead he got up and said I’d not touched him, but the referee followed the letter of the law.
“I’m just really glad the lads went on to win the match. I said sorry to the rest of the players and the manager after the game.”
Hassell added tongue-in-cheek: “I’m not sure whether they’d have forgiven me if they’d lost the match though!”
Currently the Reds’ longest-serving player with 252 league appearances to his name, Hassell had only ever once been sent off for Barnsley - and that dismissal came after the final whistle.
That sending-off came against Birmingham when a 22-man scuffle ensued after the match had finished, with Hassell and one Blues’ player also shown red.
“Manager Simon Davey didn’t appeal my card because the club had already been charged by the FA for the club’s part in the scuffle,” recalled Hassell.
“I didn’t do anything, but I think most people know that I’m not an aggressive footballer.
“I was never sent-off in my time at Mansfield Town and never go into a tackle with aggression, I always try and win the ball fairly.”