Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill pledges no repeat of touchline fracas against Newcastle

 

Martin O'Neill has called the touchline row between himself and Alan Pardew during last season's Newcastle-Sunderland derby at St James' Park unedifying and insisted there will be no repeat on Sunday.

The confrontation was the peak of a frenetic afternoon in March. Two Sunderland players were sent off, eight players were booked, a member of the Newcastle back-room staff was dismissed at half-time for a clash in the tunnel with Sunderland's fitness coach and there was a huge melee in the first half involving players from both teams. The Football Association fined Newcastle £40,000 (they had already been charged with misconduct earlier in the season) and Sunderland £20,000 for failure to control their players.

The image that stuck, however, was that of O'Neill and Pardew in each other's faces and yesterday there was an attempt to dilute some of the hostility with the two clubs set to meet for the first time since then on Sunday at the Stadium of Light. "Obviously I hope there wouldn't be a repeat of that, if at all possible," said O'Neill, the Sunderland manager. "In the heat of the moment things can happen. Since then I have spoken to Alan Pardew on a number of occasions, but particularly to say to him well done on being Manager of the Year.

"It was not particularly edifying. These things can happen on the spur of the moment, things that you can be very embarrassed with and annoyed with yourself afterwards. I hope maybe we have both learned a lesson from the previous encounter. Our first aim is to be, at the very least, the best team around here. No 1 at the very least.

"I have been involved in a number of derbies, none bigger than Glasgow, but for intensity this is up there with the best of them. You just don't want to let people down. My assistant Steve Walford spoke about the intensity immediately after the game at St James' Park. He felt it was the same as games we had with Rangers at Celtic Park."

O'Neill had accused Newcastle's back-room staff of visiting the referee at half-time during a volatile game, which ended 1-1. He also turned down Pardew's offer of a glass of wine once the dust was settling. Yesterday was an attempt to draw a line under that affair but the Sunderland manager did admit he was not close to Pardew, as he is not particularly friendly with many in the game. Asked if he was a mate of the Newcastle manager, he said: "I can't say any of those things. I tend to just get on with my job and don't rely on a coterie of friends in the game. I never have."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering