Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will speak to Cheick Tiote about his disciplinary record after being sent off in the club’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland.
The Magpies were 1-0 up and comfortable during the derby, but Tiote’s lunge on Steven Fletcher meant his team-mates were a man light for 65 minutes, and eventually conceded with just five minutes remaining.
And Pardew believes despite the ‘sanitisation’ of the game affecting players like Tiote, the midfielder will have to adapt in order to improve his record and avoid costly absences for the club.
“I do have some worries about his discipline,” Pardew told reporters.
“I will be talking to him before the Brugge game. We talk to him before every game. We talk to him at every half-time and I’ll be talking to him again.
“It’s not a laughing matter because he’s one of our big players and I can’t have him not playing. It could be costly and he needs to understand that.”
The Ivory Coast international has picked up 27 yellow cards in 54 games for Newcastle and will miss the next three matches following his dismissal – although Pardew believes the loss of physical battles in football could be bad for supporters.
“I am not going to make any comment about why Cheick got sent off on Sunday, but I do think that part of the game has changed,” said Pardew.
“I can remember Norman Hunter absolutely smashing Jimmy Greaves all over the place. It was part and parcel of the game. Now that wasn’t right, but where we are at the moment, almost every mis-timed tackle is a booking.
“There are going to be this type of challenge. Referees need to understand that it’s a genuine attempt to get the ball and nothing more. That’s why we devised the award for a free-kick. It’s not a yellow card.
“So the sanitisation of the game is a little bit worrying for me because I like the physical side. I think we all do as supporters.”