Sport Soccer

Friday 17 November 2017

Poyet unhappy with ref decisions

Gus Poyet, pictured, thought Joleon Lescott should have been sent off
Gus Poyet, pictured, thought Joleon Lescott should have been sent off

Gus Poyet was left to rue a series of controversial decisions as Sunderland were denied a much-needed Barclays Premier League victory over West Brom.

Head coach Poyet was convinced Baggies defender Joleon Lescott should have been sent off after being penalised for a fifth-minute foul on Danny Graham, and then saw a tight offside decision go against his team when Adam Johnson thought he had broken the deadlock in what proved to be a scrappy 0-0 draw.

But it was the earlier incident which particularly disappointed the Uruguayan after referee Mike Jones initially waved play on before consulting assistant Constantine Hatzidakis and awarding a foul and a yellow card.

Asked about the goal, Poyet said: "It's onside. It's unfortunate from the linesman. You know what? I understand why he gave offside. Of course, in this situation when we needed it to go for us he made a mistake, but I am a little bit more disappointed with the other one, the red card.

"I think it was an easy decision. The ref was not giving the foul, the foul was given by the linesman, so I think the call for the red card should be the linesman and not the referee.

"What can I say without getting fined? It was unfortunate, the referee today."

West Brom boss Tony Pulis, however, was astonished to see a free-kick awarded, let alone a caution.

He said: "I have seen old women in the high street take more of a knock and stay on their feet than what the lad did. It's not even a free-kick, never mind Joleon getting booked."

Sunderland's 13th league draw of the season extended their run without a goal to three games, and although they were comfortably the better side on a day when West Brom defended resiliently, but did little else, they were unable to fashion a breakthrough.

Johnson's disallowed strike looked to have done it and Baggies keeper Ben Foster pulled off important saves from Sebastian Larsson and substitute Connor Wickham either side of half-time, but chances were at a premium.

The visitors were significantly less enterprising with James Morrison's eighth-minute shot prompting keeper Costel Pantilimon's only save, but it was they who left the Stadium of Light the happier.

Poyet said: "[It was] a case of trying everything and getting nothing, really. Performance, desire, commitment, going for it, it was spot-on. We needed a break, an action, a goal, a finish, a lucky goal or a right decision from the referee, and nothing.

"You say in England 'it wasn't to be' - it's that kind of day. It was written in history that it was a 0-0 and we would be at the back of Match of the Day today again."

Pulis was understandably the happier boss after seeing the Baggies extend their run under him to one defeat in nine games in all competitions without playing as well as they have in recent weeks.

He said: "The lads have done well. We have played really well in the last couple of weeks - we played really well against Swansea and played exceptionally well against West Ham, especially in possession of the ball, and we started well today.

"But then we just fell away. The great thing about today is not playing as well as we have played, we still get something from the game and it's very important that we do that from now until the end of the season.

"We have got 12 games to go and we have to glean as many points as we possibly can out of those 12 games. We are in it with eight, nine, 10 other teams, so everybody is fighting for their lives.

"I have done this a few times and you can never take your foot off the pedal. It's going to be nip and tuck until the end of the season."

Press Association

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