Sunderland vs Newcastle: 'Embarrassed' John Carver slams 'dreadful' performance

Carver also defended the Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, who was seen congratulating Jermain Defoe in the tunnel at half-time after the Sunderland striker’s brilliant goal

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The Independent Football

John Carver, the temporary Newcastle head coach, condemned the performance from his players yesterday after they fell to a fifth successive defeat in the North-east derby, losing 1-0 to Sunderland. Carver had promised they would not lack for passion but yet again in this fixture they were found wanting.

“In the first half we were dreadful,” he said. “I said before the game that no side of mine would be criticised for not working and I think I was wrong. We were second best in every department. Certainly in the midfield areas and the front three.

“The makeshift back four and the goalkeeper stuck to their guns and kept us in the game because without them we would have been in big trouble. We did pick it up in the second half but it still wasn’t good enough.

“We only had one half-decent shot for their keeper to save and that’s a concern. I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of it, but I am a part of it and I have to deal with it.”

 

Carver also defended the Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, who was seen congratulating Jermain Defoe in the tunnel at half-time after the Sunderland striker’s brilliant goal. “Tim Krul is the most passionate guy about this football club,” he said. “He loves this club and he loves the fans but sometimes when somebody produces a bit of brilliance fellow professionals appreciate it and that’s maybe why that happened.”

He accepted Newcastle are now in a relegation fight. Carver said: “We only got 35 points. You need 40 points. We’ve got seven games left and we are down to the bare bones and you are thinking where the next points are coming from, but we have to turn this around somehow.”

The Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat hailed the victory as the reason his team will now survive in the Premier League. It was just their third league victory at the Stadium of Light this season but was enough to move Sunderland three points clear of the relegation zone.

Advocaat was asked to step in to save Sunderland from relegation following the dismissal of Gus Poyet last month. “We will survive, but we had to win today,” he said after the match. “There was a lot of pressure on the team. The league table looks better, but the most important thing is 24 May. It will look better if we’re here then. This helps.

“Before the game I said to [Steven] Fletcher: ‘It’s time to do something for Sunderland now, you’ve done it for Scotland.’ I said to Defoe: ‘Do I have to say anything to you or not?’ He said: ‘I know what I have to do.’

“I got a great feeling when we arrived here on the bus. That was something special and the players felt that. They are in the dressing room and they are unable to walk. They have worked so hard. I am pleased with how the team played as a unit with the fans behind us. But that [the goal] was a special moment.”

Defoe added: “It was an unbelievable feeling when it went in. I was very emotional for some reason, as everyone wanted the three points so badly. The lads have been telling me what today would be like with the atmosphere and it was amazing.”

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