Belfast Telegraph

Pardew laments McArthur "dive"

Crystal Palace's James McArthur has been criticised by his manager Alan Pardew, who feels the midfielder should be "embarrassed" about diving in Saturday's 2-1 win at Stoke.

McArthur was booked early in the second half of the Barclays Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium for simulation having taken a tumble in the box.

And Pardew told Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday programme: "He dived.

"He should be embarrassed. He's a great professional and that's unlike him. I was surprised but it shows what pressure does to players.

"I haven't spoken to him about it but I don't need to. He will see the replay and he will be embarrassed."

The win continued Palace's resurgence under Pardew, who took over in January after leaving Newcastle.

Having been in the relegation zone at that point, the Eagles are now 11 points clear of it and up to 11th place - one spot above Newcastle.

Pardew had a rocky relationship with the Tyneside club's fans and when his Newcastle side were beaten 1-0 at Stoke in September, several of the away supporters held up signs calling for him to be sacked.

However, following a much happier return to the Potteries for the 53-year-old on Saturday, he insisted it was of no real significance to him that Palace had leapfrogged Newcastle in the table.

And Pardew also indicated he is not about to take anything for granted in terms of survival.

Palace - with 19 points from 10 league games under Pardew so far - have a total of 36, and he said: "I'm still thinking about another couple of points.

"But nine wins (for Palace in the league over the season) going into this international break - I would have absolutely jumped at that when I arrived."

Asked if there was any significance for him to going above Newcastle, Pardew said: "No, not really.

"The most important thing for me is that this club is within touching distance of Premier League status for next year.

"That is the only agenda I had when I arrived. We have done absolutely brilliantly.

"It (his previous visit to Stoke) was a difficult night, and I've had them as a manager. You have to show your mettle.

"But it was a different feeling on Saturday because we are in great form. You want to have more of those in your career, and hopefully I can as I continue with Palace."

Stoke, 10th on 42 points, are looking this season to better their Premier League records set last term of a ninth-placed finish and 50-point total.

Saturday's result made it back-to-back defeats and manager Mark Hughes is keen for an impressive campaign not to fizzle out.

He did, though, stress he thought the Potters' performance against Palace had been an improvement on the previous weekend's loss to West Brom.

"I thought performance-wise it was a marked difference from last week, which was pleasing, but we haven't got a positive result," Hughes said.

"We are disappointed - we made mistakes, so maybe we didn't do enough to win.

"But we certainly deserved to take something out of it."

Hughes hit out at two of referee Andre Marriner's decisions from Saturday's match, claiming the official was wrong both to award Palace a penalty following a collision between Asmir Begovic and Yannick Bolasie and to not give Stoke a chance from the spot when a Mame Biram Diouf shot struck the arms of Joel Ward.

It was on the same day that Neil Swarbrick sent off the wrong player in Manchester City's 3-0 win over West Brom, and referees' chief Mike Riley has subsequently called for the trialling of in-game video technology in a bid to help officials.

That is something Hughes would definitely like to see.

The Welshman said: "I don't think the standard (of refereeing) this year has been as good as it needs to be.

"I'm an advocate of television replays. They need to be given that option because at the moment they need a lot more help.

"I think we have reached a tipping point. Before, there were debates one way or the other but now I think it needs to come in."

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