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Steve McClaren: 'Referee cost us in Wear-Tyne derby'

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren praises his players despite the team's 3-0 derby defeat to Sunderland, adding that the referee played a big part in their loss.

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has praised his players for their performance in their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland, adding that the referee played a big part in their loss.

At the end of the first half at the Stadium of Light, Fabricio Coloccini was penalised by Robert Madley for shouldering Steven Fletcher in the box, with the Argentine receiving a red card for the challenge.

Adam Johnson slotted home from the penalty spot to give the Black Cats the lead, before second-half goals from Billy Jones and Fletcher capped the hosts' sixth straight win over their neighbours.

McClaren told BBC Sport after the game: "We were the better side by a distance. We controlled it, created chances and never looked like giving anything away at the back. Even with 10 men in the second half we still controlled it. Referee decisions are out of your control.

"The defining moments were those two ref decisions he got wrong. Georginio Wijnaldum's ball was handballed by Lee Cattermole and the penalty for them was never a penalty. The penalty and red card was a double whammy.

"In the first half the team were excellent. I was totally relaxed. We were in control. I said to players that's what we must continue. If we continue doing that and get decisions right then we'll do OK."

Newcastle slip to 19th in the Premier League table following their sixth consecutive derby defeat.

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce in the dugout before kick-off during the match against Newcastle on August 24, 2013
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3Manchester CityMan City96212041620
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham95221610617
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
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8Everton94231514114
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12Brentford9333119212
13Aston Villa93151315-210
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18Burnley9045715-84
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212

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