Beye wins red card appeal
Newcastle interim manager Joe Kinnear did not know whether to laugh or cry when he was told the news that defender Habib Beye's appeal against his red card had been successful.
The 61-year-old was conducting his pre-match press conference for Saturday's derby trip to Sunderland when it emerged that a Football Association regulatory commission had overturned referee Rob Styles' decision to send off the Senegal international for a trip on Manchester City's Robinho.
A statement said: "At a regulatory commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Newcastle United defender Habib Beye was upheld. As a result, Beye's one-match suspension has been withdrawn.''
The decision means 31-year-old Beye will be available for the game at the Stadium of Light, providing Kinnear with a welcome boost.
He said: "I am really pleased they saw things our way and thank the FA for reaching that decision. We are looking forward now, having got that problem out of the way. I was a bit worried about how to change the team around, but now that takes care of itself, so that's fantastic.''
However, Kinnear's joy was tempered by the frustration of having to play 78 minutes of Monday night's Barclays Premier League encounter, which ended 2-2 after Stephen Ireland's late equaliser for the visitors, with only 10 men.
He said: "I just thought we were done twice. You can't rub out the penalty, can you? The fact that he (Styles) has now realised it wasn't a penalty, that's disappointing because we could have had three points.
"But I am glad we don't lose him. The penalty was enough, losing him would have been a double whammy. It's a shame they can't take the penalty back.''
Beye's response, however, was one of relief.
He said: "I'm glad I can play against Sunderland because you enjoy playing in derbies - games like this are why you are a footballer. I'm very happy because I think it was a bad decision. But I can understand because he is human and when you are human, you can make mistakes.
"I got the ball and I could not believe it when he gave the penalty and the red card because I was sure I got the ball. You know as a defender when you have got the tackle. When I made that tackle, I was 100% confident I could get the ball.''
The full-back's availability has solved one problem for Kinnear, who has admitted he will not be able to call upon star striker Michael Owen for the next two games as he recovers from his groin injury.
He said: "We are monitoring him each day as we go along. I would think probably Aston Villa (on November 3), I think we are looking at that. It will be too quick for West Brom, so I would think Aston Villa.''
Kinnear will, however, be able to call upon controversial midfielder Joey Barton for the first time since his arrival on Tyneside at the end of a week which has seen the 26-year-old open his heart on the troubles which have plagued the last 18 months of his career.
The former Wimbledon boss has been hugely impressed by the player in training as he completed his six-match disciplinary ban and turned out for the reserves on Tuesday evening.
Indeed, he admits he cannot quite equate the man he has witnessed in action with the one who ended up in jail earlier this year for a vicious assault.
Kinnear said: "It's hard. The fact is, it is there in black and white, what he did, but over the short amount of time since I met him, I find it hard to think, 'How could he do that?' because he is such a good-natured lad.
"If I do get him involved, which I am sure to at some stage on Saturday, the only way he can answer all his critics is to show it on the field and let his feet do the talking instead of everything else.''