Sam Allardyce reveals all about the feisty touchline tussle in Sunderland's win at Norwich

There was a touchline tussle in the opening minutes
There was a touchline tussle in the opening minutes
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Sam Allardyce says he was simply 'protecting his players' after getting involved in a heated touchline tussle in the win at Norwich City.

The incident was sparked after Sunderland full-back DeAndre Yedlin was sent flying into the advertising boards by Norwich captain Gary O'Neil in the opening minutes of the match.

It angered the Sunderland coaching staff who were just metres away from the incident and players from both sides waded in.

Allardyce then appeared to shove Norwich substitute Cameron Jerome out of the way before confronting O'Neil.

The Sunderland boss joked about the incident post-match, with opposite number Alex Neil playing the incident down too.

Allardyce said: "I was a bit disappointed the fourth official didn't stop the Norwich players encroaching into my technical area!

"I was protecting my box and my players at the time. I got a bit carried away, there was a lot of emotion in the game.

"It was such a big game and I don't know why they came running over as much as they did but I was going to protect my players and mob.

"I hope [referee] Andre Marriner doesn't get a ticking off for not doing more with me, I just got him out the way.

!In the end he said 'calm down, will you?'

"I said It would try my best! I didn't know I still had that strength!"

There was some suggestion of afters in the tunnel following the final whistle but both Allardyce and Neil said they hadn't seen anything.

Allardyce added: "I never saw any afters after the game, I don't know, I can't answer that one."