Steve McClaren has criticised referee Robert Madley for costing Newcastle United the game in their Premier League clash with rivals Sunderland.
Newcastle were in control of the Wear-Tyne derby until Madley dismissed Fabricio Coloccini for a foul on Steven Fletcher in first-half stoppage time, with Adam Johnson scoring the resulting penalty.
Sam Allardyce’s side went on to win 3-0 against McClaren’s 10 men, and he lamented Madley’s officiating which he felt cost his team.
“It [the penalty] was a massive moment. We talk about the game and keeping composure and try not to mention before but the referee can be the most important factor,” McClaren told Sky Sports.
“When I look again he’s got two [decisions] wrong. Just before the penalty [Giorginio] Wijnaldum turned [Lee] Cattermole and he dragged him back.
“Then, straight up the other end Colo [Coloccini] leant into Fletcher who was never going to get the ball anyway.
“I’m just aggrieved at the decisions on the day and they cost you football matches. It’s a hard one to take.
“I am devastated for the fans and feel harshly done to.”
Despite the defeat McClaren was pleased with his team, insisting they are playing impressive football.
“I was pleased with first half, we looked comfortable,” the coach added.
“You don’t win games with 10 men – you might draw them. I still thought we were going to.
“I was so positive. Even with 10 men we passed the ball and created chances but it is difficult.
“In the last two weeks – and certainly Chelsea and the first half against Man City – the way we’re playing football, we are progressing you can see it.”