Chris Coleman reacts to Jason Steele red card and Sunderland's defeat to QPR

Chris Coleman admitted that Sunderland could have no complaints after Jason Steele saw red early in the second half at Loftus Road.

Saturday, 10th March 2018, 5:12 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th March 2018, 5:15 pm
Coleman says his team 'showed some grit' despite their defeat

Steele misjudged a long ball down the centre of the pitch and with QPR preparing to pounce, he thrust out a hand to stop the ball.

The hosts scored less than ten minutes later and the Black Cats boss was left frustrated with the defending on show.

He said: "It is a red card. Jason is a bit eager, there was a peculiar bounce, even higher than I expected.

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"But it is a simple ball that we should deal with and Jason has rushed out.

"When you're bottom of the league and there's pressure on, it is hard in both of the boxes. When you're up the top it goes for you. We can't argue with the red.

"We should have dealt with the ball over the top, it is just a clearance. He was doing alright up until that point but it made it hard for us.

"What he has done well of late is tidying up, bossing his box,coming out and collecting. I don't know whether he thought he was on the edge of the box when he's actually on the edge of his D. Of course there is no argument from us, maybe he lost his bearings a bit.

"It is hard for me to keep saying we were unlucky. On Tuesday we whimpered out, the last two away games, we've had a right tear-up at Millwall and we did again here. We lack confidence in crucial areas.

"We've been scratching, fighting, chasing all season. It has been tough in both penalty boxes. That spine is crucial in any successful team and it starts in goal, through to centre-half and beyond. We've struggled a bit in that area. Today, Jason didn't look like he was struggling really, it is just that one vital error."

Sunderland's situation is increasingly precarious, particularly after Hull's win over Norwich, but Coleman says his team can some solace from their performance.

He said: "The first 45, I thought, there was so much on it for us, I thought we could go on and win it, I really did. Maybe only 1-0 but I felt comfortable. The mentality was right today, we do lack confidence in vital areas but there was nothing wrong with the mentality.

"Five minutes into the second half, you can easily go, it's Sunderland, it is never going to change, we're ten men and then we concede.

"But the boys didn't buckle today in terms of their grit, they brought a bit of game and we kept going in the end. That's 5 games in 21 since I've been here that we've gone down to ten and that is tough. The very least we can take is that we showed personality, we whimpered out on Tuesday but we didn't today."