TOON WILL COMPLAIN

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United will write to the Football Association and spell out the club’s frustrations with referees this season.

Rafa Benitez has been unhappy with a number of refereeing decisions against his team in the Championship.

Benitez was furious after Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett were sent off in Friday night’s 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The league leaders are set to appeal BOTH red cards.

United manager Benitez was angered by what he felt was play-acting from Henri Lansbury at the City Ground.

Lansbury was involved in the incidents which saw Shelvey and Dummett dismissed by referee Stephen Martin, who missed a foul on Ciaran Clark in the Forest box.

The home side came from behind to beat Newcastle, who lead the Championship by one point.

Midfielder Shelvey – who has a FA misconduct hearing later this month – has picked up an automatic three-game ban, while defender Dummett will have to sit out United’s next fixture, the home game against Birmingham City on Saturday.

The club hopes to overturn the bans for Shelvey and Dummett on appeal.

Benitez hit out at Lansbury after the Forest game.

“It’s very difficult to understand what happened,” said Benitez.

“We can complain about the penalty not given to Clark, the (Nicklas Bendtner) goal offside, the penalties given, two red cards.

“He (Martin) couldn’t see the first action of Lansbury. I think he (Lansbury) has to be really proud of what he did, because he was provoking everything.”

Benitez added that he hadn’t spoken to Martin after the match.

Newcastle plan to highlight a number of refereeing decisions, going back to early in the campaign, in their letter to the FA.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will take their time before appointing a replacement for Ian Cathro.

Cathro last night took charge of Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian.

The 30-year-old – who had been assistant coach at Newcastle – has become the youngest head coach in the history of the Scottish top flight.

“We will not be appointing a replacement to Ian in the immediate future,” said Benitez. “We will take some time now to decide what is best for us, our team, coaching staff and the club.”