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Brawl Proves Players Care, Says Newcastle Coach
The Guardian, July 22nd, 2009 4PM

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Interim Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has insisted that an ugly mass brawl during a friendly at Huddersfield on Tuesday night showed his players care about the club. The match at the Galpharm Stadium erupted at the break after a confrontation between Senegal international Habib Beye and Huddersfield skipper Peter Clarke sparked a 20-man melée. A later clash also occurred between defender Fabricio Coloccini and striker Lee Novak as Newcastle maintained its winning preseason run with a 1-0 victory.

However, Hughton, who confirmed that referee Jon Moss had not been involved in his decision to withdraw Beye, played down the incident, while promising he would look into what had happened.

He said: "I will be investigating the incident today. But sometimes it's nice to have that bit of edge on the pitch - at times it didn't look like much of a friendly. That's the nature of the game. You have got players who care out there and sometimes they overstep the mark - but that's part and parcel of the game. You would rather have a game where the players care, and that is what happened with that incident. The referee didn't ask me to take Habib off - I was always going to do that."

 

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