GUS POYET admitted it was a case of two points dropped for Sunderland after their failure to beat 10-man Aston Villa.
Sunderland recorded their sixth goalless draw of the campaign at Villa Park today, as the Black Cats again paid the price for their lack of attacking threat; drawing a blank for the 10th time in 19 Premier League outings.
The dismissal of Villa midfielder Fabian Delph early in the second half gave Sunderland the perfect opportunity to achieve the second of two wins which Poyet had targeted from the final four games of 2014.
But although Sunderland reached the 20-point mark in the West Midlands, Poyet was left ruing his side’s failure to secure only a fourth top flight victory of the campaign.
Poyet said: “I like to win. I don’t like to draw too many games.
“I think we lost a great opportunity today.
“It was disappointing not to take the three points, especially after the sending off – it was a great opportunity to go and win it.
“I think we tried too hard. We went a little bit crazy and lost the shape.
“We didn’t do the right things, but we tried.”
Delph was handed a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson for a poor, studs-up challenge on Jordi Gomez.
But Poyet sympathised with Delph after working with the England international when he was coming through the ranks at Leeds and the Uruguayan was assistant manager at Elland Road.
“I didn’t see it live, but I have seen the video,” added Poyet.
“It is Fabian, the way he plays football, it’s maybe a reputation thing.
“Sometimes, a player like (Ron) Vlaar can make three or four fouls and get a yellow, whereas Fabian made one tackle and if it looked a little bit dangerous then he gets a red.
“He was unlucky, I think.
“Saying that, if you see the video and the studs on his (Gomez’s) ankle, another three inches and it could have been a broken leg.
“I think that was why the referee gave it.
“Sometimes you get away with those tackles. That’s the way that Fab plays.
“He brings that little bit extra to the pitch, but sometimes that bit extra can end up with a red card.
“I think he is a tremendous player. I like him the way he is.
“Of course, as a manager you want him to be perfect – to know when to tackle, when not, when to launch, but that is not possible.
“You cannot keep that passion and aggression and make sure you don’t get sent off. It’s too difficult.
“I really like him. I feel a little bit sad for him today, because he didn’t deserve that.
“But it was a little bit dangerous, and we have to be fair to the referee as well.”