David Moyes admitted he was “disappointed” with Adnan Januzaj after the winger was given his marching orders for two yellow cards in less than 10 minutes at Tottenham yesterday.
But Moyes also felt referee Mike Dean has to take some of the blame for failing to award Sunderland a free-kick in the build-up to the first yellow card.
The Manchester United loanee was first booked in the 81st minute for dissent, the Belgian international back-chatting to Dean after a decision went against the Black Cats on the edge of the penalty area.
Moyes’ frustration was as a result of Januzaj having his shirt tugged, but Dean chose not to give that and instead booked the player for dissent.
Januzaj was then given his marching orders in the 89th minute after his second caution for a late foul on Tottenham sub Ben Davies – right in front of the home dugout.
Moyes admits the second challenge was worthy of a booking, but he was frustrated that his first yellow meant Dean had no option other than to send him off.
The red card means he will now miss Wednesday night’s EFL Cup third round match against Championship side Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, but Januzaj will be available for Saturday’s vital home Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.
Moyes said: “I was disappointed with Adnan, but I was also disappointed with the referee.
“It should have been a free-kick to us on the edge of the box – you could see he was having his jersey pulled.
“He didn’t give it and Adnan should not have spoken back to the referee.
“The second yellow could have been a yellow, could be.
“I’ve seen that one back on television and it looks worse on the television than it does stood pitchside.
“It didn’t look an awful lot at pitchside.
“I think [the first yellow] he had a case for his disapproval.”
It was a frustrating afternoon at White Hart Lane for the Belgian, who is on a season-long loan at Sunderland.
Jermain Defoe was left isolated leading the Sunderland attack, with the Black Cats camped in their own half for much of the game.
Tottenham dominated the game, but Sunderland should have taken the lead through Steven Pienaar, his weak effort cleared off the line by Kyle Walker.
Moyes added: “We had to deal with Tottenham’s pressure and chances.
“Some days the other team score and sometimes they don’t and, because they didn’t, we were still in the game.
“Steven Pienaar had a great chance and we probably need to score any chance we get.”