Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has branded Ciaran Clark 'stupid' for his moment of 'madness' which earned him an early red card against Norwich City.

The Republic of Ireland international was dismissed after just 10 minutes for pulling Teemu Pukki back, having scuffed a clearance which allowed the striker to run in on goal.

Eddie Howe's side had made a promising start to the contest, but were forced to sit back and soak up pressure as a result of their numerical disadvantage.

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Newcastle went into the break goalless, and Clark's red card was discussed by Amazon Prime's pundits during the interval.

Co-commentator Shearer felt sympathy for Callum Wilson - who was handed the captain's armband on the night in Jamaal Lascelles' absence - and could not understand Clark's decision.

He told Amazon Prime: "Not only do you put your defence and goalkeeper under huge pressure, but from a forward's point of view you can imagine Callum Wilson who has been given the captaincy.

"He's up against a back four who have conceded 27 goals this season, so he's automatically thinking goals. But all of a sudden, you go down to 10, he's up front on his own now and he's having to play against three or four defenders for the rest of the game.

"There's goals in them, but when you have team-mates doing stupid things like Ciaran Clark just did... he puts everyone under pressure. Madness, it really is. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Pundit Les Ferdinand agreed with his former Magpies strike partner, and believes it is another example of an error which Howe simply can not prepare for.

Newcastle United's Ciaran Clark is sent off against Norwich
Newcastle United's Ciaran Clark is sent off against Norwich

He added: "I have to agree [with Shearer]. We said as a manager, you can't legislate for individual errors.

"Ciaran Clark looks like he's going to boot the ball away, he doesn't and he kicks it into Pukki. It's just a mad reaction.

"You see it all the time with defenders, sometimes they handle the ball in the box and you say why have they done that? You can't just understand why he's pulled him back.

"As Alan said in commentary, even if you let him through and he scores, at least you've got 11 players on the pitch and you can have a go at getting that goal back.

"You thought this was tough before, it's even tougher now for Newcastle."

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