The official went to the rivals' training camps in the run-up to the clash to talk to the players in a bid to avoid controversy on the pitch.
"There were a few things the referee said he would clamp down on - none of which he did," Howard said.
"I don't know what the deal was bringing the referee to the clubs just three days before a game.
"It makes everyone a bit uneasy and it's probably not the best idea."
Everton have confirmed that they have launched an appeal to the Football Association against Rodwell's red card.