Friday 23 March 2018

Toon 'dirtier' than us - O'Neill

MARTIN O'NEILL has reignited his row with Alan Pardew, questioning the Newcastle manager's accusation that Sunderland were overly physical in last Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby.

Stephane Sessègnon was sent off for the Black Cats and eight players from both teams were shown yellow cards. Andy Woodman, the Newcastle goalkeeping coach, was sent to the stands at half-time in a volatile game.

"The half-time stats are a total contradiction to what their manager said," O'Neill said.

"They've twice the number of bookings we have, and twice as many fouls. You think you've watched the game, given a reasonable analysis, and then you hear the opposition manager saying that Sunderland had a game plan to upset them, to unnerve them, to basically - and he used the word 'ugly' - attempt to kick them off the pitch.

"It's not a case of taking the moral high ground, but putting across what I felt during the course of the game was almost entirely the opposite of what their manager was saying."

O'Neill also questioned Cheick Tioté's role in Sessègnon's red card. "He's gone down two and a half seconds after the incident, and rolled around 14 times," he added.

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