After a performance and result like that it’s good to stand up and admit that we were beaten by a better side on the day.
After the first 15 minutes the Sunderland performance was abject, and the players just did not show up. Steve Bruce admitted that it was this defeat that had hurt most since he arrived at Sunderland, and now the team has to just lick its wounds and rebuild for the next game.
Newcastle showed admirable hunger, and played a much more expansive game, getting the ball wide and providing some excellent crosses. What does a team do when 3-0 down at half-time? The most important thing would be for the team to keep its head and make sure 11 players stay on the pitch, and that is where Titus Bramble and others let the side down... this was a nightmare, horror display appropriate for Halloween.
I was pleased to see the apology from Niall Quinn and Bruce on safc.com, after the heaviest derby defeat since 1956. The least we expect when we see Sunderland play in big games is that they fight and use their talent, but to quote Bruce “they did not handle the occasion”.
The whole game was a disappointment and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The team all feel gutted and need to recover quickly before the Stoke game on Saturday, and make sure that they get back to form quickly.
Newcastle played out of their skins on Sunday, with Nolan capping an excellent team performance, and they showed real desire. Now why should they hesitate to give a contract to Chris Hughton? As I have pointed out previously, he has led the club really well through difficult times, and things look good for the Magpies now.