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Nov 29, 2012

Clattenburg welcomed back

Chris Hughton and Nigel Adkins were pleased to see Mark Clattenburg make his return to refereeing in Wednesday evening's 1-1 draw between Norwich and Southampton at St Mary's.

Clattenburg refereed his first match in a month after the Football Association cleared him over an allegation that he had racially abused Chelsea's John Obi Mikel.

Norwich boss Hughton said he was delighted to welcome back Clattenburg, while supporters at St Mary's gave the official a standing ovation.

"He is an excellent referee, and I speak for most when I say we are delighted to see him back," Hughton told BBC Sport.

"He has a passion for what he does, is very good at what he does and we need the best referees week in, week out."

His Southampton counterpart Adkins added: "Of course I'm pleased to see him back. It was an unfortunate situation that arose, and he is a fine referee that has a great career in front of him."

Chelsea recently expressed "regret" at the way they handled the accusation. Clattenburg missed four weekends of Premier League matches before being cleared.

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