Steve McClaren believes Aleksandar Mitrovic’s red card in Newcastle’s defeat to Arsenal earlier today was harsh – and referee Andre Marriner made a rod for his own back in the game.
The Serbian star – signed by the Magpies in a £13million deal in the summer – lasted just 16 minutes of the English Premier League clash.
It came after a stamp on Francis Coquelin which earned a straight red card from Marriner.
But McClaren believes his side were hard done by as they were forced to play 74 minutes of the game with 10 men and ultimately lost 1-0 after Fabricio Coloccini’s second-half own goal.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, the Newcastle boss said:
It was harsh. It was more clumsy, eye on the ball and he stood on his foot.
We saw Moussa Sissoko’s one just after which got a yellow card and it was similar.
I don’t want to criticise, but early on there were too many yellows and it was kind of a rod for his own back – he had to keep producing them.
There were fouls and we’re not disputing that. Our boys are young, innocent, they stay on their feet, don’t fall down easy and stay up and play.
And we felt we were a victim to that – especially the red card.
It’s just a clumsy stamp on the foot and very harsh for a straight red.
McClaren went on to heap praise on the Newcastle supporters for the backing they showed the team throughout the match.
Despite seeing Mitrovic sent off, the Geordie faithful was very vocal throughout – and didn’t hide their anger at referee Marriner too.
What a fantastic crowd! When we get 11 players on the field and a decent game, this crowd is going to roar us on.
If we keep this spirit – after four games we’ve been down to 10 men in two. It was harsh, definitely, but we have to learn from that.