Kenwyne Jones insists that he has learnt a harsh lesson from his second sending off in English football, but the Sunderland striker still feels the situation was inflamed by “a worrying trend” in the modern game.
He served the first match of a three-game suspension when his team-mates lost at Tottenham on Saturday, having been issued with a red card for violent conduct a week earlier.
Jones was fined by manager Steve Bruce for his petulant push on West Ham defender Herita Ilunga after a rash foul that earned the striker an instant sending off.
It was the first time the Trinidad & Tobago international had been dismissed since a similar incident during his days at Southampton, when he was red-carded for retaliation after a rough tackle from Crystal Palace’s Mark Hudson on Boxing Day 2006.
On this occasion, however, there has been some sympathy shown towards Jones after the way Ilunga fell to the floor, with Bruce claiming that the man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo had been “pole-axed”.
The reaction still frustrates the normally laid-back Sunderland striker, although he also admits he was guilty of over-reacting to the challenge and that he will be looking to cut that from his game.
“I try not to think about the incident too much because if I dwell on it, it doesn’t help me.
It has become a worrying trend in modern football. It happened, that’s it. Lesson learnt,” said Jones.
“I’ve been sent off once before in my career and I don’t want it to happen again. I’m not an angry person. I can’t say I never get angry but I don’t really show that sort of emotion.
“I wouldn’t say it was the first time I’ve got angry, but it happened at that moment in time and I’m sorry for that.
I’ve been fined and that is what the club has to do.”
What frustrates Jones the most is the timing of his suspension.
Having successfully adapted to life playing alongside Darren Bent, he felt that the partnership was starting to take off.
Jones has scored five goals this season, with Bent netting eight, highlighting why the pairing was establishing itself as one of the most highlyrated in the Premier League.
However, having missed Saturday’s defeat, the 25-yearold now misses the visit of Arsenal and the trip to Wigan.
“It’s not nice to have to sit out three matches, of course it isn’t. But that’s the punishment and I have to deal with it.
“There is nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is move on and sit out the suspension.
Everything in life that happens to you, you learn a lesson. Whether it is good or bad there is always something to take from it and hopefully this won’t happen again.”
There remains interest in the Caribbean forward from a number of Premier League clubs, who could decide to test the water again in January with an offer for the player.
While Bruce seems keen to keep Jones, he also knows such speculation has centred around the former Southampton man for sometime. Jones, though, is just trying to focus on playing for Sunderland.
“No matter what you do as a footballer there are always doubts about your future,” he said. “Management changes, teams change and clubs change hands.
“There is always the threat of an injury ending your career so I think most footballers worry about their futures everyday. At the same time you have to believe in yourself and your ability.
“Whoever comes in as manager you have to believe you have the ability to make sure you stay in the team. At the end of the day, all you can do is play football and make the most of it while you can.”
Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, meanwhile, has remained on Wearside instead of joining up with the Scotland squad so he can undergo further treatment on his fractured arm.