Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has renewed his calls for the Premier League to employ professional assistant referees in the wake of Callum McManaman's controversial challenge on Massadio Haidara.
Pardew’s belief that referees should team up with full-time assistants was only strengthened in the wake of the incident in the Magpies’ 2-1 defeat at Wigan during which the French full-back was carried off with what looked at the time like a serious knee injury.
Unsighted referee Mark Halsey took no action over the tackle, and McManaman escaped retrospective action because one of the officials did have a clear view and deemed it fair.
Pardew said: “Sometimes it’s good to reflect on the situation and how it was dealt with.
“I feel particularly aggrieved about the fact that we haven’t got professional linesmen in the Premier League. With the money and the finance we have, they should be a team.
“I would 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 travels around together and works together and therefore can trust each other 100 per cent, because that’s where it fell down.”
Fortunately for Haidara and Newcastle scans revealed no lasting damage and the player could return to action next week, although he will miss Saturday's league trip to champions Manchester City, with first-choice full-backs Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon also on the casualty list.
Pardew, while surprised at comments made by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan and manager Roberto Martinez after the game, was simply relieved not to have lost his January signing for several months.
Asked if either the club or the defender had received an apology from the Latics, he said: “No, I don’t think so. I was a little bit surprised at the manager’s and the chairman’s comments that it was a fair challenge - I think everybody else could see that it wasn’t. But that’s opinion and I can understand them wanting to defend their player.
"It would be interesting to know what their opinion would have been if it was Cheick 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.”