Beye hopes for derby clearance

NEWCASTLE defender Habib Beye has protested his innocence over the tackle that could have cost him his place in Saturday’s derby clash with Sunderland.

The Magpies yesterday launched an appeal against the 31-year-old Senegal international’s 12th-minute dismissal for a challenge on Manchester City star Robinho in last night’s 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.

Referee Rob Styles awarded a penalty and swiftly produced the red card, although replays showed Beye had played the ball. The FA were yesterday awaiting the referee’s report, but the defender insisted he had been cruelly punished.

Beye said: “For me, that was the start of my season and I am devastated by the decision.

“I wouldn’t have made the tackle if I didn’t think I could have got the ball, and that’s why I am so disappointed. It was my first game back for some time after my injury, and to be sent off so early is very disappointing.”

Beye’s disappointment at seeing victory snatched from his side’s grasp when Corkman Stephen Ireland rescued a point for the visitors was compounded by the knowledge he faces watching this weekend’s derby from the sidelines.

He said: “I know how big this game is to the supporters. Fingers crossed, it will be overturned.”

Styles, of course, has already apologised to Bolton this season after awarding a penalty against Jlloyd Samuel for a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo but if the official is public enemy number one on Tyneside, his contribution to an eventful game served to mobilise the Toon Army once again as they roared their side on to a creditable performance and result.

Their appreciation extended to Ameobi, not always the recipient of their best wishes during his career at St James’, after he emerged from the wings to play a key role in a concerted response to another slice of adversity.

Ameobi said: “I was told it was two years and a few days to the last time I scored. It always plays on your mind. It was part of the problem for me — my confidence was down.

“It seemed to take four or five ricochets before it got to me and at times you need that bit of luck as a striker, which hasn’t been there for me of late.”

Kinnear will hope for further boosts over the next couple of days with Jonas Gutierrez and Michael Owen both due to undergo scans on their respective injuries, with the Argentinian perhaps a better bet to make the game at the Stadium of Light.

Midfielder Joey Barton is due to play in tonight’s reserve-team fixture at Middlesbrough after completing his six-match ban and could also figure on Wearside.

Meanwhile, Magpies legend David Ginola has revealed he would love to see Newcastle legends Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer reunited at the helm of the club in the near future.

“If you have Kevin Keegan at the club you have to give him time to work it all out,” he said.

“He did not have that. It is not going to happen in two or three weeks. It would take years — he can still be their messiah.

“And Shearer also knows how things work in Newcastle. Alan Shearer and Keegan could be a really good partnership for the club.”

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