Newcastle United’s Alan Pardew braces himself for touchline ban

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ALAN Pardew was today facing a long touchline ban for his push on a linesman.

Pardew will be hit with a Football Association charge for his actions.

Frustrated at a decision over a throw-in in the second half, he pushed the assistant referee in front of the dugout and referee Martin Atkinson sent Pardew to the stands for the rest of a game.

Pardew apologised to the official after the final whistle, but the FA are likely to take a dim view of the incident.

“What I did was absolutely ridiculous and I apologise to my team and to the linesman,” Pardew said

“Getting sent to the stand is something I don’t want to do as Newcastle manager.”

Pardew revealed after the game he had talked about the importance of discipline to his players.

He admitted he was embarrassed to be facing a FA charge himself, having talked about taking the “Olympic spirit” into the new season.

Reflecting on the incident, Pardew added: “I thought the ball was out. He was right in front of me, and I don’t think I pushed him that hard, but he took a stumble and unfortunately that was that.

“I went into see him and gave him a little cuddle. I apologised to the linesman, and that’s all I can do.

“I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Pardew, meanwhile, was today’s assessing the fitness of a clutch of players ahead of his side’s return to Europe.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini, left out of the side on Saturday, is unlikely to be involved against Atromitos on Thursday night.

Instead, the club’s efforts will be focused on getting the defender – who has a thigh problem – fit for Saturday’s visit to Chelsea.

Coloccini’s defensive colleague Danny Simpson is also a doubt with a knock suffered against Spurs, while Shola Ameobi pulled up with a problem in the warm-up.

A number of players, including Hatem Ben Arfa and his French countryman Yohan Cabaye, are short of fitness.

Pardew could name an entirely different team to face the Greek side in the first leg of the club’s Europa League qualifier.

Sylvain Marveaux, Mike Williamson, Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor and Gael Bigirimana are all vying to start in Athens.

Ben Arfa stroked home a late winner from the penalty spot on Saturday as Newcastle rode their luck to get the new campaign off to a flying start.

The Frenchman sent Brad Friedel the wrong way in the 80th minute having been hauled down by Rafael van der Vaart, restoring the Magpies’ slender advantage after Spurs had pulled back to level four minutes earlier.

A low-key encounter had sprung into life in the 55th minute when Demba Ba fired his first goal since February to put the home side ahead before Jermain Defoe prodded a 76th minute equaliser at the second attempt.

Newcastle United: Krul, Santon, Simpson, Perch, S Taylor, Cabaye (Anita), Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Tiote, Cisse, Ba (Obertan). Subs: Harper, Williamson, R Taylor, Gosling, Sh Ameobi

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Kaboul, Gallas, Walker, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson (Van der Vaart), Livermore, Sandro Booked (Kane), Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Vertonghen, Naughton, Jenas, Townsend.

Ref: Atkinson Att: 52,385 .