Referees spend too much time watching Match of the Day, says Newcastle boss Steve McClaren after Mitrovic red

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren (right) looks on as Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic leaves the pitch after being shown a red card
Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren (right) looks on as Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic leaves the pitch after being shown a red card

Steve McClaren believes referees should spend more time assessing their own game than watching Match of the Day after Aleksandar Mitrovic’s red card.

The Newcastle boss admits his side’s discipline needs to be better but says he is not sure whether the hot-headed striker’s reputation has proceeded him since joining the club.

In four Premier League games he has been booked twice and now red carded, 16 minutes into the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

When asked whether Mitrovic’s reputation proceeded him, McClaren said: “Maybe, [I] don’t know how.

“He’s only played a couple of games and come on a couple of times and perhaps refs have been too busy watching Match of the Day instead of assessing their own game.

“That can be a problem but our discipline does have to be better but we felt harshly done by.”

Referee Andre Marriner was subject to loud boos and chants from the Newcastle faithful and McClaren felt he was “too rash” in awarding several yellow cards in the game plus the red card to Mitrovic.

McClaren said: “It was clumsy but I have seen plenty of clumsy challenges.

“Football is a contact sport, it’s a physical sport and we cannot take that away.

“And I don’t think any of the tackles - and don’t get me wrong the seven yellows and red card - it was not a dirty game and we’ve not kicked them off the park.

“They were fouls and I think the ref has reacted too harshly with every one of them – a bit too soon, a bit too rash,” added McClaren.