Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes referee Mike Dean's decision not to send off Chelsea defender David Luiz last weekend directly led to the injury problems that could leave him without a recognised centre-half at Norwich tomorrow.
Dean showed Luiz just a yellow card for a last-man challenge on Demba Ba less than four minutes into last Saturday's Premier League game, which Chelsea went on to win 3-0.
The referee subsequently admitted to Pardew that he had got the decision wrong, but that was scant consolation for the Newcastle manager on a costly afternoon.
Having lost Fabricio Coloccini to a thigh injury in the first half, the Argentine's fellow centre-back Steven Taylor then picked up an Achilles problem that required surgery and will rule him out for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, midfielder Danny Guthrie sustained a groin injury that could keep him sidelined for six weeks.
The Luiz incident came on the same day that referee Stuart Attwell showed a red card to Bolton defender Gary Cahill after deciding he had denied Tottenham a clear goalscoring opportunity for a tackle on Scott Parker almost on the halfway line.
That was overturned on appeal, but Pardew made little attempt to disguise his frustration that, unlike Taylor, Guthrie and probably Coloccini, both officials will be in action this weekend.
He said: "We ended up with 10 men with not a centre-half on the pitch. I don't ever remember being in that situation before. And to concede two late goals on the back of that made it even more galling, but I think we've got enough players in the squad to make sure we put in a creditable performance at Norwich.
"I'd have felt very confident going into this period if I had all my squad available, but I haven't. The biggest problem from the weekend, and perhaps the decision by the referee that changed the game, was that we put in more effort against Chelsea than we've done in any other game this season, and that's cost us injuries to Guthrie and Taylor.
"It just goes to show how important those decisions are. It's interesting to see both the referee at our place, who admitted to the mistake, and the Bolton referee have got games this weekend."
Pardew confirmed James Perch, who came on for Coloccini at the weekend, will definitely play, and there is a possibility the Argentine could be fit.Reuse content