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Football | Barclays Premier League

Managers praise ref Clattenburg



Referee Mark Clattenburg was praised by the managers from both sides after returning to action as the fourth official in Tottenham Hotspur's 3-1 defeat of West Ham United on Sunday.

Clattenburg was officiating for the first time since he was cleared of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel by the Football Association.

"It was good to see him," said Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea manager.

"He is obviously a great referee who has been through a difficult time in his career and he has cleared his name.

"I think for him it was extremely important, he comes back to refereeing on Tuesday or Wednesday and it was good to see him."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce echoed Villas-Boas comments and said he hoped Clattenburg could put the experience behind him.

"I just said it was good to see him back and get on with your refereeing, nice to see him back. I'm sure he is itching and ready to get back into the middle," he said.

"I don't think it is finally sorted yet but from his point of view he is back where he should be because there is a shortage of experienced, quality referees in our country at least and we couldn't afford to lose him."

Clattenburg will take charge of his first game since the Mikel affair in Southampton's game with Norwich City on Wednesday.

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