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This editorial should be a preview of the Newcastle game however after Wednesday’s game against Villa, I cant help but think that it would be a refreshing change if the referee wasn’t the centre of attention on Saturday night, after the game.

All to often these days, the officials have become the centre of attention, spoiling the game as a spectacle for the fans and giving the managers excuses for poor performances and defeats.

Hopefully today’s referee Martin Atkinson, will realise that this afternoons game is crucial to both teams. With heavy rain overnight and more forecast the pitch could play an important part in the game, as they say in racing the going could be soft. However with managers such as Hughes and Big Sam, the play wont be soft, more like firm to hard, as both teams attempt to regain form, playing off the back of high scoring defeats. Rover 4 nil defeat by Villa and Newcastle 3 nil defeat by Liverpool

In fairness today’s referee, is usually never noticed during a game, a prime example being the last time he took control of a Rovers game, (against Liverpool at Ewood), when he let the game flow, and had quiet words with the players who committing offences. Let’s hope Mr Atkinson continues in this vain and the players are the centre of the discussion this evening not the performance of the referee.

Click here for match preview and predictions

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