Frustrated Sunderland boss Poyet: Easy decision to send off Lescott - and ref got it wrong

Danny Graham battles for an opening against West Brom
Danny Graham battles for an opening against West Brom

GUS POYET felt it was an “easy” decision to send off West Brom defender Joleon Lescott that referee Mike Jones got wrong against Sunderland.

Sunderland were held to an eighth stalemate – and 13th draw – of the campaign today after they were unable to find a breakthrough against fellow strugglers West Brom.

But the Black Cats were left aggrieved at two decisions which went against them.

Ex-England international Lescott was only handed a yellow card, rather than a red, for a slight pull on Danny Graham when the Sunderland striker would have been clean through on goal.

And then on the stroke of half-time, Adam Johnson saw a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside, when replays showed that the Sunderland winger was level with Baggies defender Craig Dawson.

However, it was the failure to dismiss Lescott which Poyet was more upset about.

“(Johnson’s goal) He’s onside. It’s unfortunate from the linesman,” said Poyet.

“Of course we needed it to go for us.

“I’m a little bit more disappointed with the other one. The red card.

“I think it was an easy decision.

“The ref wasn’t giving the foul. The foul was given by the linesman, so I think the call for the red card should be the linesman.

“It’s simple.

“What can I say without being fined? It was unfortunate for the referee today.

“From where I was, it looked like a foul because he went across.

“I looked at the referee and he said ‘no, no, no’.

“Then I looked at the linesman flagging. In my book, if you give the foul, you give the sending off.”

Sunderland dominated both possession and territory, with the Baggies showing minimal attacking ambition and failing to draw a meaningful save out of Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon.

But while Sunderland were much-improved from their previous two games and showed no lack of effort, the breakthrough eluded them.

Poyet added: “We took risks. We played with only two people in the middle of the park, when my system is normally three.

“We put as many strikers on as we could in the game.

“We were high on the pitch. We tried. I don’t know how many times we crossed.

“But it wasn’t to be.

“There are still a few actions we need to learn – where the ball is going to drop, anticipate a second ball. Many, many things that because it was a bit more direct, you need to adapt.

“Everything starts from the commitment, desire and pressure.

“It was a case of trying everything and not getting anything really.

“In terms of desire, commitment and going for it, it was spot on.

“You say in England ‘It wasn’t to be’ and it was that kind of day.”