FEARFUL that his own words would get him into deep trouble, a still seething Gus Poyet hoped a video recording of Wes Brown’s sending off would do his talking for him at the Brittania Stadium on Saturday.
The Sunderland head coach took the unusual step of bringing a laptop into his post-match Press conference so there could be no doubt that his claims the red card was a diabolically bad decision were accurate, rather than the one-sided view of the losing manager.
“I’m not going to comment on the referee because I don’t want to get fined,” he explained.
“Did you guys see the action? I’ve brought the computer up so you can see for yourselves. Feel free to see it from any angle,”
There were no takers.
Everyone in the Press Room already knew that Poyet had every right to be aggrieved and he could be forgiven for analysing exactly why it was such a poor decision.
“There is no doubt here that the referee was wrong.
“The linesman did not put his flag up, the fourth official told me he did not say a word, so the referee has made the decision after three or four seconds to give a foul, which was not even a foul.
“If someone can explain the decision, I will think about it, but I am sure there is no explanation, so nobody will come to me.
“I don’t even think it is a foul.
“Fans will see the challenge from every angle over the weekend on replays and from each angle it will look less of a foul.
“Wes Brown is a defender. We are playing in England.”
Though rival boss Mark Hughes muddied the waters with a bit of mischief-making – the Welshman suggesting the referee might have had a case – there were few others in the world of football who were in disagreement with the Sunderland head coach.
Poyet might have brought up his laptop to do the talking for him. But just about everyone else in football was prepared to take up the cudgel on his behalf after witnessing what will still rank as one of the worst refereeing decisions of the season when the campaign ends next May.