ONSIDE: Newcastle United derby defeat was deserved

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DERBY matches between Newcastle United and Sunderland have been littered with controversies over the years.

Wearsiders still whinge about disallowed Gary Bennett and Kevin Kyle efforts during narrow defeats stretching back more than 20 years.

From a black and white perspective there’s the Mick Quinn goal that wasn’t in 1992 and referee Howard Webb’s failure last season to spot midfielder Sebiastian Larsson’s Jimmy Monty impression on the goal-line.

On both the above occasions Newcastle United simply dusted themselves down, forgot about any perceived injustice and won.

So do not be fooled by Papiss Cisse’s wrongly chalked-off effort in Sunday’s 3-0 home surrender to the neighbours.

The injury and suspension-hit visitors, after all, could easily have had one if not two penalties.

Do not also hide behind the fact that Magpies bossed possession or that David Vaughan was probably a toenail offside as he lashed home the third.

Nor should Newcastle’s European exertions some 64 hours earlier be used as a defence for what unfolded at St James’s Park.

Use any of the above while suffering the inevitable cat calls from Sunderland fans at work or in the pub and you will merely give them more ammunition to pepper you with.

Just be big enough to accept that the best team won.

What is more important now is what lies ahead.

Newcastle still need four if not five points from their remaining five games to ensure Premier League survival.

One of the more winnable is first up at midtable West Brom on Saturday.

Manager Alan Pardew somehow has to lay into his deflated troops without destroying their fragile confidence.

The three players returning from injury on Sunday, Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote, all looked off the pace and may benefit from a full week’s training.

Others could maybe do with a spot of orange peeling on the bench.

Yoan Gouffron and Moussa Sissoko are either starting to feel the effects of a frantic first half-season in the Premier League or we are finally discovering why Newcastle were able to buy them for around £2m each.

An important week lies ahead on the training ground if Newcastle are to avoid getting sucked further into the relegation mire.

- GAVIN LEDWITH

@GLedwithHMail