GUS Poyet believes football needs looking at again if challenges like the one Lee Cattermole produced on former team-mate Ahmed Elmohamady at the weekend are deemed automatic sendings off.
The Black Cats head coach thought Cattermole’s foul was hot-headed, mis-timed and fully deserving of a yellow card.
But he felt the red was an over-reaction – something he did not feel when Andrea Dossena was sent off several minutes later in a disastrous end to the first half for Sunderland at the KC Stadium.
Not only did he think referee Andre Marriner got it wrong over Cattermole, he also felt that the official was inconsistent when it came to punishing similar incidents involving Hull City players.
“I have looked at whether or not they should be sendings off and, in my view, it is a case of Cattermole – no; Dossena – yes,” said Poyet (pictured). “That’s my opinion.
“I know how Lee plays and I know that in football today we need people like Lee.
“It’s no good that if every time he makes a tackle it’s going to be red.
“If that’s going to be the case then I think we need to change the rules of football rather than Lee because otherwise we are taking away every challenge.
“I would love the referees to talk because to me it is a foul, but not a red.”
The Uruguayan said scrutiny should be given to other incidents in the game too and in particular how Hull were able to escape punishment for a couple of painful challenges on Sunderland’s players.
“If I was analysing the game as a pundit, I would ask the technical people to pull me footage of the challenge on Keiren Westwood by Paul McShane which has almost taken the keeper’s head off, and the foul on Adam Johnson by Robbie Brady, and I would get the panellists to comment on them too.
“For me, McShane takes out Westwood but has no punishment, while Lee tackles Elmohamady, who stays down for a couple of minutes and then continues.
“It does not seem right.”
Poyet added that he believed Sunderland still have every chance of survival this season if they show the same sort of spirit and resistance as they displayed in the second half when nine men kept Hull at bay for 45 minutes and might even have pinched a result with a couple of late flurries.