He told the Sunday Mirror: "I think Sunderland fans know what I'm like. It was tongue in cheek, a bit of banter. Maybe some of the supporters got caught up in the emotion of it all.
"The Sunderland players knew I never meant anything by it.
"They know what I'm about, I even shook hands with Martin O'Neill.
"As for the 'We wish you were dead' chants', I think some of their supporters were just a bit stuck for words for one of their songs.
"I had a bit of a laugh with them. I thought the 48,000 of them were great.
"They never once shut up during the game, supporting their side, and as a player I love that level of passion.
"I've seen Sunderland fans since the game and they've shaken my hand. They appreciate the banter, the way I tried to get things up for the game.
"I think the worst thing I could have done was to take my top off when I warmed up down the side of the pitch at the Stadium of Light during the game.
"I don't think that went down too well but I sincerely apologise to any Sunderland fan who felt I over-stepped the mark.
"I wasn't being malicious, I just wanted to have a laugh."