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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003