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?
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before