Mark Hughes must surely rank highly in the list of managers who wind up Newcastle fans, so it was with some small satisfaction that I saw him moaning about Jack Colback staying on the pitch yesterday.

Already booked, Colback mistimed a tackle on Victor Moses in the 71st minute but the referee opted not to send him off with a second booking.

Three minutes later the ball was in the Stoke net via Jack Colback’s left foot. Sweet!

John Carver said it was common sense, while Mark Hughes said the referee bottled it.

Mark Hughes;

“Once again the officials have played a hand in our game.

“The referee was not brave enough to make the right decision at a key moment in the game.”

John Carver;

“Given the yellow cards which were dished out and the nature of them, for him not to give Colback a clear second yellow was disappointing. He needs to be stronger.”

“I think the referee used his common sense, Jack Colback is not a nasty guy, he’s competitive.”

Works both ways;

“It works both ways and I think one or two of their lads on the Stoke City team got away with one or two things – it does even itself out.

“I’m standing here with you guys and pundits can make a decision on whether it was two yellows or not, but the most important person is the referee.”

As more mature readers will know, it is ironic because Mark Hughes was one of the dirtiest and most vindictive players of his generation.

If he’d been booked every time he’d made a similar challenge to that Colback one, then he wouldn’t have finished many matches!