By Keith Hackett

8th Nov, 2021 | 7:00pm

Ex-Premier League referee hits back as Shearer fumes over Newcastle controversy

Keith Hackett has hit back at Alan Shearer’s assessment of a Newcastle United controversy in their 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee delivered insisted David Coote “bottled it” when he initially did not award Brighton a penalty for Ciaran Clark’s foul on Leandro Trossard.

After a corner was floated in, Clark appeared to pull back Trossard as he attempted to get a shot in.

Coote waved away Brighton’s appeals despite being in a great position to view the incident.

Speaking on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Shearer suggested VAR should not have intervened as it was not a “clear and obvious error”.

The Newcastle icon pointed to Coote’s positioning as to why his original decision should not have been overturned.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

He also admitted Clark’s attempt to stop the shot was a “stupid challenge”.

Asked whether he agrees with Shearer’s assessment of the controversy, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “No.

“The whole point is, where I agree with Shearer, you would expect a referee who is an ideal position to make the correct call. But he bottled it.

“He waved at the players waving his finger, giving it a ‘no’.

“It was a poor piece of officiating.”

A point for Newcastle puts them five points from safety with Watford in 17th on 10 points after 11 games.

They are now the only team not to win in the Premier League this season after Norwich City beat Brentford at the weekend.

In other news, Eddie Howe will be ‘upset’ with Graeme Jones after a ‘strange statement’ at Newcastle United.