GUS POYET was unimpressed by referee Neil Swarbrick’s decision to award West Brom a penalty in Sunderland’s opening day draw at the Hawthorns.
Sunderland began the campaign with a point against the Baggies yesterday after a 2-2 draw which Poyet agreed was just rewards for both sides.
But although Poyet chose his words carefully, the Sunderland boss was dismayed by a soft spot-kick handed to West Brom on the stroke of half-time, when Valentin Roberge was harshly adjudged to have tugged back Victor Anichebe on the turn.
Saido Berahino converted the penalty for the first of his two goals, with an irate Poyet confronting Swarbrick before the interval.
Poyet said: “We can always talk about decisions and not talk about football.
“If you ask every single manager, they want to talk about football.
“But unfortunately at the end, we’re always talking about one decision that was clear.
“Sometimes when you need to discuss a decision from a referee, you get into trouble.
“But this one is so simple, it’s not worth it.
“I’m sure he’ll watch it tonight...”
Lee Cattermole had given Sunderland a fifth minute lead with a scorcher from 30 yards, before Berahino’s second goal after the break looked to have handed West Brom victory.
But Seb Larsson’s late leveller earned Sunderland a share of the spoils and Poyet was heartened by the resolve shown by his side.
Poyet said: “Last year, maybe after conceding the second goal, we would have collapsed and conceded three or four.
“So maybe there is a bit of a stronger mentality in the team.
“The players on the pitch need to be strong and react.
“If you saw the reaction when they scored and then going again, it’s a good sign for the future.”
He added: “We started well, a great strike gives confidence.
“Then we had 20-25 minutes of disaster technically. We couldn’t pass the ball more than two or three times and that gave the chance to West Brom to keep attacking.
“When you defend too much, one decision or one mistake can give the opportunity to come back into the game.
“We needed to finish the first half at 1-0, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“The second half was better, even though we conceded a poor goal.
“We were more aggressive, more in their half, not letting them come out and getting in behind.
“So I’m pleased with the reaction.
“There was so little between the teams that a point to start with is not too bad.”