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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Kinnear regrets "Mickey Mouse" ref blast

Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear plans to apologise to Martin Atkinson after branding him a "Mickey Mouse referee".

The United caretaker boss made his remarks after the official failed to award a free-kick to his team shortly before Fulham won the decisive penalty in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage.

Kinnear has been asked to explain his comments by the Football Association, and he revealed on Thursday that he regretted the criticism of Atkinson.

"I am sorry if my post-match comments at Fulham caused any offence and I will ring Martin Atkinson to tell him," he told the Chronicle.

"When I spoke to the media on Sunday I was deeply frustrated about losing a game I felt we were in a strong position to win.

"I said at the time I had no complaints about the foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Andy Johnson which brought Fulham their match-winning penalty.

"But I have watched the build-up to that goal, and I felt we should have been awarded a free-kick seconds earlier for a foul by Andy Johnson on Claudio Cacapa.

"However, having said this, I have accepted that some of my comments at on Sunday were inappropriate and I will be calling Martin Atkinson to say that."

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