JOHN Carver said just FIVE Newcastle United players are excused of any blame for the Magpies’ latest derby debacle.
Under-fire head coach Carver didn’t single out any players for criticism after yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light.
But, tellingly, he did say that Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and Jack Colback could not be faulted for their contributions.
Carver felt Gutierrez, making his first start since beating cancer late last year, gave him “everything”.
However, too many players, including stand-in captain Moussa Sissoko, went missing on Wearside.
Asked about Gutierrez’s performance, Carver said: “He gave me everything.
“He is void of any criticism along with Ryan Taylor, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and Jack Colback. Those five are void of any criticism.”
Defoe’s spectacular goal gave Sunderland a record fifth successive derby win over Newcastle, who have not beaten their rivals in seven attempts.
And Carver has suggested a few of his team “can’t handle” playing in the fixture.
Carver added: “Let’s face it, five in a row is a long run.
“Maybe one or two people can’t handle it, but I won’t go into names.”
Sissoko chose NOT to walk through the mixed zone and address waiting journalists after the match – only Mike Williamson spoke to the written media – but he offered an apology on Twitter after the game.
The midfielder tweeted: “Very disappointed tonight! We didn’t find the solutions to win the match. Sorry fans.”