Steven N’Zonzi should have been sent off, insists Gus Poyet

FLASHPOINT ... Rodwell is pulled away from the melee.
FLASHPOINT ... Rodwell is pulled away from the melee.

GUS Poyet is convinced Steven N’Zonzi should have seen red for the second successive season at the Stadium of Light, but will not seek an explanation from referee Mike Dean.

Stoke midfielder N’Zonzi grabbed Jack Rodwell by the throat in retaliation to a poor tackle from the Sunderland summer signing in last night’s Capital One Cup third round clash.

But Dean opted to issue just a yellow card to each player, rather than dismiss N’Zonzi – who was sent off at the Stadium of Light in January – for violent conduct.

Sunderland boss Poyet felt the incident was clear-cut, but believes it would be fruitless to take the matter further.

Poyet said: “I won’t ask them because I don’t like the answers, I don’t.

“When it’s something everyone agrees on and you don’t get that agreement, I don’t like it.

“When it’s a way out, an explanation, when it’s a ‘might’, a ‘maybe’, a ‘probably’, a ‘possibly’, I don’t like it.

“That’s one of the things I hate the most nowadays, when people use words to get away from situations.

“If you grab someone around the neck, you grab them around the neck.

“That’s the bottom line and the rules say it’s a red card.

“That’s the bottom line, the rest doesn’t matter.

“There are no explanations, there are no excuses, it doesn’t matter what happened before or happens after.

“Everybody saw it – I saw it, the referee saw it, the fourth official, you saw it. It’s simple, so why? I am not going to ask. I don’t want ‘mights’, ‘probably’, ‘possibly’, ‘the angle’.”

Opposite number Mark Hughes felt Dean made the right decision in issuing a yellow to both players.

Hughes said: “I thought it was a poor tackle. It’s all about interpretation, but I thought there was a little bit of intent there, which is not really what you want to see.

“Steven reacted because maybe the boy pushed his head towards him and that’s the reason he reacted, so that was unfortunate.

“But I thought Mike Dean was excellent on the night, I thought he dealt with that situation really, really well.

“I thought it would have been harsh on both teams if they both had lost players given the circumstances, but you don’t like to see that.”