Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce: 'Secret derby' scoreline was meaningless

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce insists the scoreline in the 'secret derby' against Newcastle was meaningless, despite Sunderland romping to a 6-0 win over their neighbours.

Sunderland thrashed Newcastle in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Stadium of Light yesterday, with Duncan Watmore netting a hat-trick for the Black Cats.

Allardyce and opposite number Steve McClaren had agreed to arrange the game to give their fringe figures a run-out in a high intensity encounter, with neither club involved in this weekend's FA Cup fourth round.

And Sunderland boss Allardyce today stressed that game-time for the likes of new signings Jan Kirchhoff and Dame N'Doye was far more important than the final score.

Allardyce said: "The result was nothing. If we had lost 6-0, it wouldn't have mattered to me whatsoever.

"All that mattered was how the players played and got through 90 minutes of a quality, high-tempo game at the Stadium of Light.

"That's very difficult to achieve with our geographical position. In this area, there's only Middlesbrough and Newcastle who can provide a game of that level.

"That's why me and Steve (McClaren) were very grateful to put the game on.

"With no game this weekend, playing those players and giving them a feel with who they'll play with and getting some match practice was very important to us."