Newcastle United news

Pardew irate at 'awful' McManaman

March 18, 2013
By ESPN staff

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has hit out at referee Mark Halsey after Wigan striker Callum McManaman escaped punishment for his "awful" tackle on Massadio Haidara during the Latics' 2-1 win on Saturday.

Massadio Haidara departs on a stretcher following a horror challenge from Wigan's Callum McManaman
GettyImagesMassadio Haidara departs on a stretcher following a horror challenge from Wigan's Callum McManaman

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Haidara, 20, replaced the injured Mathieu Debuchy in the 13th minute at the DW Stadium, but he was withdrawn less than 15 minutes later after McManaman made a knee-high tackle that put the Frenchman in considerable pain.

Halsey claims he failed to see the challenge, but Pardew left a scathing review of the officials after Wigan's winner seemingly came off Maynor Figueroa's hand and McManaman failed to see red.

"It is an awful challenge. The pictures speak for themselves," said Pardew. "I thought it was a bad challenge and I was 60 yards from the incident. The players knew because they were on top of it and there was a lot of bad feeling about that incident when it goes unpunished.

"He (Halsey) said 'If I've missed it I apologise' - that was at half-time. If it goes unpunished it doubles the impact on the mentality of the players and the team and it did have an impact on us, you can't get away from that.

"My job was to calm the players at half-time, not go looking for retribution, and try to win the second half - which to all intents and purposes we did. But again there's a decision at the end where we should have had a corner, it goes up the other end and there's a handball - that is tough to take.

"The linesman is looking right at it, the referee is there and all our players reacted and in that split second we didn't clear the ball - that's what happens when you miss a decision as big as that.''

Haidara was taken back to Newcastle immediately after the match for further assessment, although the youngster is likely to be sidelined beyond the international break.

"The doctor assessed him quickly before he was scuttled away to be assessed later,'' added the Newcastle manager. "It looks like knee ligaments and bad bruising and that's the best we can hope for.''

Debuchy's early departure with a hamstring injury has led Pardew to welcome this week's international fixtures.

"We will send him to France (for this week's international duty) for them to assess him but we think he will be on his way back,'' he said. "We don't think it is a particularly bad tear - a strain hopefully.''

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez defended McManaman and his team and does not think the striker will be retrospectively punished by the FA.

"Remember Callum McManaman was making his full debut in the Premier League and, as a young man, you know you are going to give your life for everything,'' said the Latics boss. "I haven't seen it but I believe he gets the ball and then it's a bad challenge.

"No-one wants to see that but I guarantee that is just a striker trying to win the ball over-enthusiastically because he is making his (full league) debut. What you need to look at in those incidents is if there is intention, a nastiness about the tackle. We are not a nasty team.

"He has not a nasty bone and is not bad-intentioned. The referee was in a perfect position, he is looking at the incident, where the ball is and where the ball is hitting. When you get the ball and then there is a follow-up it is very difficult for a panel to punish that.''

Martinez was critical of the half-time melee which saw Newcastle assistant John Carver try to confront McManaman, with both Carver and Wigan coach Graham Barrow sent to the stands for the confrontation.

"I have not seen it but it is something which should never happen," he added. "It is not for anyone to take justice into their own hands."