Echo Jury – Sunderland players just didn’t turn up!

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STUART HALL

WELL, I was somewhat over confident with my 3-0 prediction. What a dreadful day Saturday was.

Yet again the players didn’t turn up. I can only name one who had a good game – Sessegnon – and Larsson should be commended on his handball. How many times has Steven Taylor done similar things in a derby over the years?

Not that I want to sound bitter. Newcastle deserved the victory and even if we had won, after Larsson’s handball, Newcastle fans would have had plenty to say.

We started brightly and Sessegnon looked lively throughout the first half an hour. If only we had managed to take one of the many chances we created in that opening spell.

It was always going to be difficult to break Newcastle down with their five-man midfield and, as the game wore on, they seemed to take a hold, while we lost our shape, composure and, in the case of Cattermole and Bardsley, our heads.

At the time, I have to say I thought the Bardsley challenge was fair. Unfortunately, on replay, it wasn’t.

All in all, Bruce will continue on and make plenty of changes for Brighton tomorrow, one defeat, albeit to the Mags doesn’t condemn our season to failure, we’ll still be top 10 and the many new signings have plenty of time to settle in before the return in March.

Read what the rest of the SAFC jury says in today’s Echo