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Pardew dismay at Haidara officials

SoccerNews in English Premier League 28 Mar 2013

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has slammed the lack of action by match officials after Callum McManaman’s horror tackle on Massadio Haidara.

McManaman has come under heavy criticism after forcing the Newcastle defender from the pitch after a knee-high tackle earlier this month.

Despite the brutality of the challenge, the Englishman escaped punishment both during and after the match.

And Pardew insists referee Mark Halsey and his assistants failed to correctly handle the situation, citing their lack of familiarity with each other as the prime issue.

“I feel particularly aggrieved, I think, about the fact we haven’t got professional linesmen in the Premier League, with the money and finance we have,” Pardew told reporters.

“That should be a team. I’d be very interested to know how often Mark Halsey, the referee, has worked with the two linesmen on the day, because I think they should have a team that travel around together and work together and therefore can trust each other 100 per cent, because that’s where it fell down.”

The Newcastle boss also went on to say that Wigan have not offered an apology for the episode, but insists that his side are ready to move on from what happened.

“No I don’t think so,” he said when asked if an apology had been forthcoming.

“And I’ve been a little bit surprised with the (Wigan) manager and the chairman’s comments about that it was a fair challenge.

“I think everyone else can see that it wasn’t, but that’s opinions, and I can understand them wanting to defend their player.

“It’d be interesting to know what their opinion would’ve been if it was Cheikh Tiote on (James) McCarthy, their outstanding young midfield player, but it is what it is.

“It’s done, and we move on to another game.”

Despite the force of the tackle, Haidara has avoided serious injury, and Pardew confirmed the 20-year-old could return in time to face Benfica in next week’s Europa League quarter-final first leg.

“Fortunately for us it doesn’t look too bad,” he said. “He won’t make this weekend.

“Fingers crossed he could be playing Benfica because we’re missing our two first choice full-backs this weekend and that’s a bit of a blow for us.”

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