Sunderland's Dan Ballard explains yellow card frustration and dressing room verdict after Birmingham loss

Reaction from Sunderland defender Dan Ballard after Sunderland's 2-1 defeat against Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

Dan Ballard didn't feel he should have been booked during Sunderland's 2-1 defeat against Birmingham - which means the defender will serve a two-match suspension.

The Black Cats centre-back was cautioned in the second half after a tackle of Birmingham forward Tyler Roberts, meaning he has received 10 yellow cards this season and will be unavailable for upcoming matches against Swansea and Norwich.

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Ballard's booking was just part of a disappointing afternoon for Sunderland, who took the lead through Jack Clarke's first half opener, before goals from Birmingham's Jordan James and Koji Miyoshi after the interval.

When asked about his yellow card and upcoming suspension, Ballard said: "It's obviously frustrating. I know I've been on the threshold for a while now so I've had to be a little bit more cautious. The way I play I tend to pick up more bookings than others. I didn't feel it was a booking today, but there have been many like that this season.

"It's frustrating having to miss games. I never go to hurt players or whatever so it is frustrating but they are the rules so I'll miss the next two unfortunately. When you play most games, most players will sort of get up to that tally. It does feel, I don't know if harsh is the right word, but it's extremely frustrating."

The result at St Andrew's means Sunderland have suffered back-to-back league defeats and are four points off the Championship play-off places in 10th.

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"We did have a really good first half which again makes it frustrating," added Ballard. "We knew at half-time we needed to do the same thing but they changed, they pressed us a lot higher and I think we struggled to keep the ball and struggled to change to go a little bit more long ball and keep the pressure off us. Of course they are chasing the game so can throw a lot more at it and we never caught them on the break to finish the game."

Sunderland will have a week to prepare for their next game against Swansea at the Stadium of Light.

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