Caretaker Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has insisted an ugly brawl at Huddersfield last night showed his players care about the club.
The friendly clash between the Magpies and the Terriers at the Galpharm Stadium erupted at the break when Senegal international Habib Beye and Town skipper Peter Clarke became embroiled in a difference of opinions which sparked a 20-man melee.
There was a later clash too between defender Fabricio Coloccini and striker Lee Novak as Newcastle maintained their winning pre-season run with a 1-0 victory.
However, Hughton, who confirmed that referee Jon Moss had not been involved in his decision to withdraw Beye, was swift to play down the incident, while promising he would look into what had happened.
He told the Journal after the game: "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."
Huddersfield boss and former Magpies midfielder Lee Clark was not unduly concerned either, although he admitted the game had been played in a far from friendly manner.
He told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner: "It was just a competitive match.
"It wasn't played in a friendly manner whatsoever because both teams were very committed with players wanting to do their best for their clubs.
"That's what you want. I would rather have that than a game played at testimonial pace with no-one tackling each other.
"Lee [Novak] had blood on his face and a cut on his chin, but it's got to be a contact sport. It's just football."Reuse content