Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin has apologised to his team-mates following his dismissal for head-butting Birminghammidfielder Robbie Savage during last night’s heated west midlands derby match.

Dublin was one of two Villa players sent off ina match Birmingham went onto win 2-0.

“I am ashamed of what I have done,” admitted Dublin.

“I’ve let the players, the manager and staff down – and most importantly I have let myself down.”

Dublin’s ejection came after Savage hadgone down under a tackle from the striker.

But Dublin denied he acted in response to a racist remark by Savage.

“That is completely untrue,’ Dublin stated.

“What was said is irrelevant. My actions were wrong. It was the wrong reaction.

“I called a meeting of my team-mates and said sorry to them. I wanted to say sorry to their faces.

“I have never done anything like that in my career before. Where it came from, I just don’t know. I just don’t know why I reacted like that.

“Possibly it was partly frustration but I have got no explanation for my actions. “It won’t happen again.”

Dublin appeared to mouth the word “cheat” towards television cameras as he left the pitch.

“I didn’t really know what I was saying at that stage,’ the striker admitted.

“I was so angry with myself just for lettingmyself down.

“But I can clear up that there was no racial element at all to this incident.

“Words are exchanged in football in the heat of the moment, but I should not have reacted that way.”