Sam Allardyce was puzzled at the final whistle of the Newcastle v Sunderland draw at St James Park on Sunday afternoon.

After going in at half-time one up, the former United boss and fat oaf couldn’t understand why his players then sat back and invited Newcastle to attack.

Sam Allardyce suggesting possibly the occasion was too much for his team and that it cost the mackems two points.

What is sure, is that Newcastle were shocking in the first half and only marginally better in the second half.

Whilst the stats (below) will show that Newcastle had more possession and shots on target, it was still a feeble effort – especially with so much at stake.

Andros Townsend was pretty much the only one in black and white with any spark at all and you had to feel sorry for Rafa Benitez with so few decent options on the bench to change things – Siem de Jong easily the pick of the subs.

Sam Allardyce:

“For me…if we don’t start getting those clean sheets it is going to be a massive problem. We are a team that has to score twice to win.

“Sadly, we didn’t get the second goal and we conceded late on again.

“We had the chances to put the game to bed but missed them.

“Second half, I don’t know why we sat in and let Newcastle come at us, maybe that was the size of the game – but in the end we haven’t done that and it is two points dropped.

“We should have won this one – we need four wins from the last eight, so it is now must-win rather than draw.”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1

Goals – 

Newcastle: Mitrovic 83

Sunderland: Defoe 44

Possession was Newcastle 60% Sunderland 40%

Total shots were Newcastle 17 and Sunderland 14

Shots on target were Newcastle 8 and Sunderland 4

Corners were Newcastle 2 and Sunderland 5

Team: Elliot, Janmaat (Anita 71), Lascelles, Mbemba, Colback (de Jong 62), Townsend (Cisse 76), Shelvey, Sissoko,Wijnaldum, Perez, Mitrovic

Unused Subs: Darlow, Saivet, Taylor, Riviere

Ref: Martin Atkinson

Crowd: 52,311

(Give us your Newcastle v Sunderland player ratings here)

(Read instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction here)