Sunderland players sorry for demolition on derby day

Niall Quinn, Darren Bent and Michael Turner have all apologised to Sunderland supporters after Sunday's abject derby defeat. Sunderland were wholly outplayed by Newcastle United at St James' Park and lost the game 5-1. After the match, manager Steve Bruce said that it was probably his worst experience in football management and his contrition was echoed by Quinn, Bent and Turner.

Quinn enjoyed six and a half seasons on Wearside as a player, scoring 69 goals, and has been chairman for the past four years. As such, the one-sided nature of Sunday's match made a deep impression upon him and he was quick to make a public statement.

"It is entirely appropriate that we apologise to our fans," said Quinn. "While acknowledging the hurt that this defeat has caused, I would like to emphasise that everyone at this club will face the music together.

"Last night, the owner and myself sat and reflected on the day's events and we are as defiant as ever that this club is going to make progress. While everybody here is suffering, the players' hurt must be galvanised into a big performance on Saturday.

"I'm not asking anyone to have sympathy for us, but we are confident that the solution will be found within the walls of our dressing room. We may have to spend a long time apologising, but this entire football club knows that it owes its people right now and for me, that is the priority."

Quinn's hopes for a quick response are understandable, given that their next game is a home tie with Stoke City before difficult trips to Tottenham and Chelsea. At this stage in the season, Sunderland's record is mixed. They have won only one of their last eight games but can also claim a proud record in harder fixtures, after draws against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United and a stoppage-time win over Manchester City.

That game was won by a Darren Bent penalty and their top scorer was just as apologetic as Quinn in a statement of his own. "We are all sorry about yesterday's result, which was a bad one for everyone concerned. It's important someone came out and apologised to the fans, who are the people who pay money to watch the games. We let a lot of people down. We know the fans are hurting and believe me, the manager and the players are hurting as badly as you are."

Michael Turner played at centre-back for Sunderland and admitted that the defensive performance was not good enough. Four of Newcastle's goals came from Sunderland players failing to mark well enough or react quickly enough in the penalty area, while the other was a penalty after a clumsy tackle from Nedum Onuoha.

"Conceding five goals is hard to take any time, but in a local derby, even more so," said Turner. "We were confident coming into the game, but we just gave away sloppy goals, scrappy goals, and it killed us in the end.

"We hadn't lost in weeks before the game, so the players have done well and made it difficult for the manager not to pick them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we are all hugely disappointed with the way it turned out. Maybe it got to a few of us."

Newcastle forward Shola Ameobi, who scored twice, yesterday spoke of how much the victory meant to him as someone who grew up in Newcastle and has been at the club for 15 years. "It's indescribable. It's something I dreamt of as a kid and I keep saying I feel lucky to be in the position to do it. It's something I always wished for and now I'm here doing it. I feel blessed. The most important thing was those three points – it shoots you up the table. If we'd have lost it, it dampens things – especially against our local rivals," he said.

Ameobi has scored six goals already this season and has struck up a good partnership with fellow striker Andy Carroll. But, having experienced the disappointment of relegation two season ago, he is keeping his feet on the ground. "In any career you have ups and downs – I'm no idiot, I'm aware of that. I've always kept a level head."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor