DJ Campbell has apologised for letting his team-mates and the Blackpool fans down after a moment of madness earned him only the second red card of his career.
The striker, who rarely gets booked let alone sent off, was dismissed for lashing out during Saturday’s 4-0 thumping at Wolves.
Campbell shoved Wolves defender Richard Stearman in the face with both hands, giving referee Neil Swarbrick no other option but to dismiss the frontman, who will serve a three-match ban for violent conduct.
The 29-year-old’s only previous sending off was in October 2005, while playing for Brentford.
A shocked Ian Holloway described it as “out of character” but admitted the incident had a major bearing on the course of the game, which has seen Pool drop three places to 15th with their advantage over the bottom three cut to four points.
Campbell was angry after the game, and he and Holloway did not discuss what had happened.
But yesterday the striker, who has scored 10 goals this season and been one of the stars of the Premier League, was in more contrite mood.
“I am sorry. I have let my team-mates and you guys (the fans) down,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
“I know I play with too much passion, that’s how I am. I wish I could take it back.”
Pool play only twice in March, against Chelsea next Monday and Blackburn, and Campbell will also miss the trip to Fulham before he is next able to play at home to Arsenal on April 10.
It’s a major blow for Holloway, who felt Campbell’s actions may have resulted from frustration at the way Pool were playing.
They were 1-0 down at the time of the 43rd-minute dismissal, and the manager had taken off Belarus striker Sergei Kornilenko in an attempt to improve the team’s performance.
Holloway said: “I think there was a bit of frustration coming in. He knew the tactics and two or three others didn’t seem to be carrying them out.
“But you can’t do that, can you?
“Stearman had just trailed his studs down DJ’s Achilles tendon, which the ref didn’t see again. But DJ shouldn’t have done what he did. We should have just taken the free-kick.
“But we’ll live to fight another day. Hopefully DJ will get on with it and so will we.”
However, Holloway couldn’t hide his surprise. “It was out of character,” the boss added. “I haven’t got to the bottom of it yet, but obviously there is something not quite right with him at the moment because that wasn’t the DJ I know.”
Holloway’s side had a real off-day at Molineux, suffering their heaviest defeat since going down by the same scoreline at Chelsea in September.
“I’ve had better days and better games. I didn’t really recognise us on that pitch, to be honest,” the manager added.