Poyet refuses to talk about ref
Published 16/08/2014 | 21:41
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet insisted he would not talk about the referee after his side conceded a controversial penalty in their 2-2 draw at West Brom.
The Black Cats saw their early lead cancelled out in their Barclays Premier League opener at The Hawthorns as Valentin Roberge was adjudged to have brought down Victor Anichebe.
Replays suggested just the slightest of shirt pulls but Saido Berahino made no mistake from the spot and later grabbed a second to leave Sunderland needing a late Sebastian Larsson equaliser to earn a point.
Sunderland had initially taken the lead with a superb Lee Cattermole strike but West Brom were forcing themselves back into contention when referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot.
Poyet said: "If you ask every single manager, we want to talk about football.
"Unfortunately at the end we are always talking about one decision. I am not even going to try, it is simple. I don't even need to comment. It is not worth it.
"Everyone in the stadium thought he was stopping to give a yellow card to Anichebe. It is not the way I wanted to start, talking about referees."
Poyet's opposite number Alan Irvine, who came within five minutes of bringing in his new job with a win, accepted his team may have got lucky with that decision.
Irvine said: "It was soft. I didn't immediately jump up saying it was a penalty. Had he not given it I probably wouldn't have made too much of it either."
Irvine, however, did feel Sunderland had their share of luck on occasions.
Early in the second half West Brom appeared to force the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble but the flag had been raised for a foul on goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Irvine said: "I think that is open to interpretation as well, a bit like the penalty was.
"We also conceded a free-kick which led to the build-up to the second goal which, again, is open to interpretation.
"But the referee has to make a decision. He has done that and I am sure some people will feel he has made the right decisions and some will feel he has made the wrong ones. It is a hard job."
Both managers also had similar views on the rest of the game, primarily that West Brom had the better of the first half and Sunderland shaded the latter stages.
Poyet said: "We started well - great strike, goal and players confident, then we had 20-25 minutes of disaster technically. We couldn't pass the ball more than two or three times.
"That gave the chance to West Brom to start attacking and attacking and when you defend too much, one decision or one mistake can give them the opportunity to come back into the game.
"The second half was better, even if we conceded a poor goal. We were more aggressive and more in their half. I am pleased with the reaction.
"You need to take a point. There is so little between the teams that a point to start with is not a bad thing."
Irvine, the former Sheffield Wednesday and Preston manager who was a surprise choice to succeed Pepe Mel, admitted to mixed feelings.
He said: "I felt there were a lot of good things. Last year I'm told we didn't come back from going behind so that was really pleasing. It was a great response by the lads.
"It was a magnificent strike and it could have been very challenging for the players.
"I felt we controlled the first half, very much dominating and had a lot of momentum.
"I don't think we played as well second half. I didn't think we passed the ball as well and gave it away a little bit too cheaply at times.
"I hoped and expected us to stay in front and was disappointed with the nature of the goal and the fact we did concede it."