We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive West Brom columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Keith Hackett claims referee Mike Dean ran the risk of injury after his introduction for the second half of the West Brom and Wolves clash on Monday night.

Paul Tierney was running the rule over the Black Country derby in the opening period but he fell victim to a calf injury and was forced off at the break during the 1-1 draw.

That meant fourth official Dean had to step up to the task, despite refereeing Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Newcastle United just over 24 hours previously.

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It was a short turnaround for Dean and in an exclusive interview with West Brom News, former Premier League referee Hackett said the Merseyside-based official was in the danger zone.

“This is the danger that you’ve got, in that you don’t recover properly, ie your recovery run, your diet’s a bit skewed, so now he’s got a game that he has to drive to coming from Newcastle to the Midlands,” Hackett said.

“The worry that I had was he had the game the previous day, you’ve not done the recovery you would have hoped because you’re driving and whatever.

“Then of course it’s pretty cold and he’s got to come on and referee. He’s at risk for a period of time of pulling something, maybe a hamstring, because he’s been stood there in the cold and his warm-up has not been sufficient.

“But he’s an experienced referee and I think he slotted in really well. He is experienced and he’s a good referee.

“We saw again last night he’s got fitness and great credit to him, a lot of people don’t see the work off the field of play that referees have to put in, and he’s actually running around much quicker than a load of the young referees that have come on.

“They need to learn from him.”

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Failure to prepare?

This might be something the Premier League needs to look at going forwards.

Should they be putting referees in reserve when they’ve already undertaken their duties the previous day? Are they really capable of performing the job to the same standard when they could still be tired?

Players are given a few days rest between games and the officials should as well given the high running demands placed on them in the Premier League.

It was an emergency scenario but it was a big game for us.

Just imagine the furore if he had pulled up lame like Tierney or was unable to keep up with the pace for a rapid counter-attack late on in the game.

In other West Brom news, ‘Imperative’ – Chris Lepkowski urges club to cash in on ‘Embarrassing’ Albion ace.

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