Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce was hugely frustrated to see Newcastle United rescue a 1-1 derby draw at St James’ Park on Saturday and felt the match should have been over by half-time.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a header with seven minutes remaining to cancel out Jermain Defoe’s first-half volley and deny the visitors what would have been a seventh straight derby victory.
Sunderland have only lost one of their last six matches but remain in the bottom three after the draw, two points adrift of Norwich City with a game in hand.
Allardyce was disappointed to see Sunderland fail to keep a clean sheet after also conceding a late equaliser to Southampton in their last outing, but felt the game should have been over long before Mitrovic’s leveller.
“It’s like the Southampton game all over again,” Allardyce said to Sky Sports, referencing another late capitulation to draw 1-1 a fortnight ago.
“For me, if we don’t start getting these clean sheets it’s going to be a massive problem. It is another game that we should have won 1-0 – well, should have won by more to be honest.
“Sadly we didn’t get the second goal and – because we haven’t – we have conceded late on again.
“We have had enough chances in the first half to have won the game, put the game to bed and seen it out, but missed them. It should have been more at half-time with the chances we created.
“Second half, I don’t know why we sat in and decided to let Newcastle come at us instead of playing like we had for most of the game. Maybe that was the size of the game and the lads wanted to try and defend what we have already got, but in the end we haven’t done that and it’s two points dropped sadly.
“While you are happy that you’ve not lost a derby, we really should have won this one by the first half performances and chances we created. We are a team that has to score twice to win a game and that’s a fact.”
On Mitrovic’s goal, Allardyce added: “It is a good goal, maybe N’Doye could have done better on the cross but it’s a lovely ball and a super header.
“You want them to head it wide when that comes their way because those little breaks make the difference, but they have had very, very few chances.
“It’s disappointing when you are in the lead going into the last few minutes of the game and not being able to protect that lead. It seems to happen no matter how I set the defence up. I don’t want to get paranoid about it – we are what we are – so next time we need to score two goals.”