ALAN Pardew admitted he was relieved Newcastle United didn’t lose a THIRD player during the club’s defeat at The Hawthorns.
Mathieu Debuchy was sent off and Fabricio Coloccini suffered a knee injury in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
And Pardew feared referee Lee Mason would show a red card to goalkeeper Tim Krul after he brought down Matej Vydra in the box late in the game.
But Mason did not show Krul a card, and the penalty, converted by Saido Berahino for the only goal of the game, was punishment enough for United.
“I thought it was a penalty,” said Pardew.
“Fortunately, the forward had a big touch, otherwise we might have lost another player.
“I thought the referee got that right. That was the deciding factor in a very tight game.”
Pardew praised his team’s “attitude and application” at The Hawthorns against a team which was looking for its first win in 10 Premier League fixtures.
“I can’t fault the players,” he said. “I thought they were terrific in their application and attitude, but with this programme, with 10 men, you’re always going to be struggling.
“I thought it was a game we had good control over but unfortunately we couldn’t get the breakthrough before the sending off. Obviously, that changed the game.”