Tomer Hemed fears he will never stamp out a stain to his reputation caused by his retrospective ban against Newcastle.

It still hurts the Albion striker that he was suspended for three games for deliberately treading on Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin.

The joy of scoring the only goal at the Amex in September turned into pain as live coverage by Sky and footage of the incident put Hemed under the spotlight.

It cost him more than three matches. Target man rival Glenn Murray struck a rich vein of form in his absence. Hemed had to wait until mid-December against Tottenham at Wembley for his next start.

The Israeli has been preferred by Chris Hughton for the last two games against Watford and Chelsea. Now he has to wait on Hughton's decision on who should lead the line in the return clash with Newcastle at St James' Park today.

Hughton's verdict, even if it goes against him, will be nowhere near as hurtful as the one by a panel of ex-referees reviewing the Yedlin incident. Three months on, it still gnaws away at the mild-mannered former Real Mallorca and Almeria forward.

Hemed told The Argus: "The first moment was in the interview after the game. I had won the man-of-the-match and the guy asked me about the situation.

"For one second I wasn't sure what he was talking about, because for me it was part of the game.

"After the interview I asked the first person I saw from the club (media team) what it was about.

"Then everyone, not just me, started to realise. The guy on the TV (pundit Graeme Souness) spoke a lot about the 'accident' or what ever you want to call it.

"Unfortunately we realised something was going to happen. I was shocked, because like I said and still now I would never do something like that.

"To be honest, when I saw it after on TV I can also understand that it can look different. It looked like 50-50 and people can think it's with meaning.

"But for me it was 100 per cent no. The ex-referees took the decision. I've said before, the thing that hurts me most is my reputation.

"It makes me look like someone who would do this, but I never would.

"After that it was hard to be out of the team and to wait for the three games to be back and to then get a chance again."

It is also hard for Hemed to stomach what happened at Old Trafford a month later, when he was on the bench.

The Argus: Footage picked up Romelu Lukaku (above) kicking out at Gaetan Bong at the corner which led to Manchester United's winner.

It was a regular Saturday afternoon game, one of several rather than the isolated Sunday live match against Newcastle. There was no fuss and Lukaku escaped punishment.

Hemed said: "When we looked after, you could see that the guy tried to do something to hurt Gaetan. In my case you could say yes or no, here you could say 100 per cent he tried to do something and nothing happened after.

"For me it wasn't a good feeling. Also in my case they could have decided I didn't try to do it.

"I prefer now to try to look forward, think bout the good things, but obviously I will remember my situation for a long time.

"Why in my case couldn't it also be just part of the game? But I can't do anything about that."

The contrasting treatment of Hemed and Lukaku highlights the perception that big clubs are treated differently to smaller ones.

"I think it's all over the world," Hemed said. "When I played in Isreal and Spain it's something that people can say and feel. I can just hope it's not like that.

"It's not just here, it's everywhere. The feeling always is that for the big teams it's more easy to judge them differently."

Hemed's prospects of adding to his two Premier League goals in the second half of the season (he also scored against West Brom, below) could hinge on Albion finally landing a striker in January.

The Argus: They missed out in the summer, when he nearly returned to the Championship. Reading headed a queue of interested clubs but he chose to stay and signed a new contract in November until June 2019.

Hemed said: "It's normal. We were in the same situation in the summer and it was the main thing in the last few days of the transfer window.

"We thought someone was going to come. In the end it didn't happen. Now we are in the Premier League we knew we were going to compete against the best players and many players would be signed.

"I took the decision in the end to stay and try to show my quality at this level. I think I have done it well up to now.

"I am sure again the club will bring in a new striker. We just need to show, all of us, that we deserve to play.

"It will be tough competition but that's part of football, especially at this level.

"Throughout my career I've never had an easy place in the starting eleven. I'm used to competing. Now again I need to be sure to do my best and try to show the manager.

"Who ever comes it is first of all good for the team, because we need good players. The target is the same for all of us, to stay in the league.

"For me a new striker it's just to respect him, like me and Muzza. We respect each other when we are playing but also try to show that we deserve to be the man to start."