Mansfield Town took off new signing Ben Turner at half-time on his debut last week before he was sent off.
The centre half, only just back from a injury lay-off, got away with an early tackle on Craig Mackail-Smith that referee Lee Mason might have sent him off for.
But, after that Stags manager David Flitcroft could sense the referee might have had second thoughts about only showing Turner a yellow and, with the defender being swamped on his side of the back three, decided not to risk further problems.
“For Ben the tackle he made early on affected his performance as he was on a booking,” said Flitcroft.
“You could see the referee was wondering whether he’d got it right and should he have sent him off.
“I had the feeling that everything Ben did after that was a worry.
“Their fans were baying for him to be sent off and we thought if the referee felt he may have got the decision wrong he may try to right that decision.”
At that stags Turner was under heavy pressure from the Magpies.
“I was worried about it and we got exposed down that side because of it,” said Flitcroft.
“They were sliding balls down that side, everything was at full stretch and full tilt and I was worried he was going to get a second yellow card in a big game.
“So we took the decision at half-time to change it.
“Ben was getting exposed down that side and it didn’t feel right.
“When I look back I think if Ben had played more centrally he’d probably have got more protection and that is me looking at me and seeing what I could have done better.”