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‘Bitterly disappointed’ Chris Coleman hits out at ‘criminal’ Sunderland defending

Kit Symons and boss Chris Coleman watch Sunderland succumb to Barnsley. Picture by Frank Reid
Kit Symons and boss Chris Coleman watch Sunderland succumb to Barnsley. Picture by Frank Reid
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Chris Coleman hit out at his team’s ‘criminal’ defending following yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Barnsley.

Ethan Pinnock was left unmarked in the box, less than two minutes into the second half, to head home Zeki Fryers’ corner.

The Sunderland boss said it was an ‘unforgivable error’ and that his side got exactly what they deserved from the contest.

“It’s a tough one to swallow after the game before at Forest on Saturday,” he said.

“We felt positive going into it. Barnsley deserved it from the first minutes – they set the tempo a lot, were more aggressive and we looked nervous again at home. Disappointing.

“Even worse was the nature of the defeat. It is not a great way to start the New Year. We got zero and deserved zero.

“The goal we conceded was criminal.

“For someone to take a corner and let it bounce in the box, it was unforgivable from us to let that happen.

“If you are not going to play well, which we didn’t, then you make sure get an ugly point.

“We buckled and I didn’t think that would happen after the last game.

“We had a shout for a penalty at the end, but we didn’t deserve it.

“I can understand the fatigue, but Barnsley played two games in three days. I am bitterly disappointed.”

Coleman admitted that Barnsley had more ‘intent’ and his substitutions could not alter the course of the game.

Josh Maja came on at half-time and Joel Asoro followed soon after, but the Black Cats created little.

Coleman added: “We have come out of the last game, nothing different.

“Changed a few players, (Marc) Wilson was forced upon us with a calf from Forest, (Bryan) Oviedo went in at wing-back, (Adam) Matthews centre-back.

“Josh Maja is a kid, played an hour at Forest and we changed up front.

“Our intent was not the same as Barnsley’s intent.

“They looked hungry for it and we looked nervous.

“That’s not an easy thing for me to say.

“It’s even worse for me to say it because, three days ago, we were a different team.”