The Fulham boss yesterday raised concerns that a number of recent tackles in the Barclays Premier League could have led to serious injury.

Hughes' players have been on the receiving end of a number of tough challenges this season, with Michael Essien's jumping two-footed tackle on Clint Dempsey in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Wednesday the latest of those.

Sunderland's Lee Cattermole and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas were also cautioned for tackles in their respective midweek outings which on another day might have warranted red cards.

"Sometimes there's a little bit of inconsistency, and, if the referee hasn't seen it, you trust that he's being honest," said Hughes, who takes his side to Newcastle tomorrow.

"There have been examples in the past where sometimes I've thought that a referee has made a decision and he hasn't seen the incident, but still taken a view on it.

"It's just one of those things; you have to trust the integrity of the referees."

Blackburn go to Tottenham tomorrow on the back of a run of two straight wins that has taken them from the relegation zone to 13th place, and assistant boss Neil McDonald feels they are being rewarded for their hard work.

He said: "It is very open and if you get back-to-back wins, it moves you up the league very quickly. It's nice that we're only two points away from fifth position.

"I suppose that every club can look back and say 'we maybe should have had a couple of points here and a couple of points there' in hindsight, but we're trying to improve the team as much as we can on a week-to-week basis and over the last two games we have got the just rewards for all the hard work we have done."

Aston Villa tackle Manchester United at Villa Park and manager Gerard Houllier is pleased with the way his side have dug in during a tough run of injuries.

"The good thing for us is we have played without (John) Carew, without (Emile) Heskey and a number of injuries in midfield," he said.

"We have horrendous injuries, but we cope."

Former England midfielder Kieron Dyer has urged his West Ham team-mates not to take Blackpool lightly at Upton Park tomorrow.

"Blackpool are going to come here and have a right go at us," he predicted. "We have to be confident and match their desire.

"It is all about playing with no fear."

Manchester City, fresh from a hard-earned point against Manchester United, take on Birmingham and assistant manager David Platt knows his men will have to be on their mettle.

"We must make sure we are concentrated and give the same output, physically and mentally, against every team that is in the Premier League," he said.

"You simply cannot underestimate any opposition in this league."

Elsewhere, Liverpool take their five-match unbeaten run to Stoke, Wigan face West Brom and Wolves meet Bolton, while on Sunday in-form Everton host Arsenal and Chelsea take on Sunderland.