The 52-year-old, who saw midfielder Yohan Cabaye sold to Paris St Germain in midweek and then looked on as owner Mike Ashley and director of football Joe Kinnear failed to sign a replacement, found himself in the firing line as the Black Cats condemned the Magpies to a 3-0 home defeat for the second successive season.
However, asked if he felt let down by the club's hierarchy, he replied: "Listen, when you lose a player of Cabaye's class, you want a replacement. But he didn't arrive and I have to accept what was in my kitty today and going forward.
"For me standing on the sideline today with a team where we were, it would have been nice to have had a player to give us a boost for the second half of the season, but he didn't arrive.
"What else can I say? You can keep asking the question and re-phrasing it, and I have answered it.
"I don't want to answer that question again, if you don't mind. The bottom line is the players I have got, I have got to find a gameplan that is going to work for us."