Steve McClaren says that despite it being a derby match, he was ‘totally relaxed’ throughout the first half as Newcastle were so much on top.
A catalogue of bad luck and bad judgement then hit United like a juggernaut, with the Newcastle Head Coach feeling very aggrieved afterwards.
Every sympathy with him and the players up to a point but against a shockingly bad Sunderland team, with the additional handicap of Sam Allardyce’s mega-negative tactics, Newcastle should be kicking themselves that they didn’t have the game won well before the referee’s shocking decision just before half-time.
As McClaren says, United were in total control but couldn’t finish their chances, whilst Sunderland only had three efforts on target and scored all three.
United dominated every statistic – shots, shots on target, possession and corners.
Having said that though, there were two areas where they lost out – goals and red cards.
“We were the better side by a distance. We controlled it, created chances and never looked like giving anything away at the back.
“Even with 10 men in the second half we still controlled it but the referee decisions are out of your control.
“The defining moments were those two ref decisions he got wrong. Wijnaldum’s ball was handballed by Lee Cattermole and the penalty for them was never a penalty. The penalty and red card was a double whammy.
“In the first half the team were excellent. I was totally relaxed and we were in control. I said to the players that is what we must continue. If we continue doing that and get decisions right then we will do OK.”
“I don’t think frustrated is the word, I am angry and disappointed.
“It was a perfect performance first half, going into a derby and I have never felt so relaxed, the crowd got them irritated and we had no chances against us.
“I think 3-0 flatters them but we can’t do anything about it, we aren’t making excuses but even in the second half I fancied us.
“We were still trying to score and go forward, they had three shots and three goals, even with 10 men if we had got one, they would have got very nervous.”
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