Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is confident referee Andre Marriner will not be influenced by Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha’s pleas for protection.
Zaha has suggested officials are not doing enough to protect him from rough treatment by defenders.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Selhurst Park, Benitez said: “I’m surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments, but I have a lot of confidence in Andre Marriner.
“He has experience – even if his record with our players is not the best in terms of red cards.
“But I am quite confident. He is a very good referee with experience and he will deal with the situation in a normal way.”
Benitez insisted the Magpies would not change their plans to deal with Zaha in the wake of his comments.
He said: “Not really. He’s a good player, no doubt about that, but I think the FA has to deal with these comments and I’m sure that Andre Marriner will not have this in the back of his head.”