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Sunderland boss O'Neill again defensive of his players after Tyne-Wear derby

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has again jumped to the defence of his players after Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby draw with Newcastle United.

The Black Cats have been criticised for being too physical during the match with Stephane Sessegnon and Lee Cattermole both sent off for ill-disciplined acts but O'Neill doesn't believe he has a bunch of over-aggressive players on his hands.

"I find it extraordinary that sort of interpretation has been put on the game," he said.

"At half-time, I think we went in with two yellows and Newcastle with four.

"We also felt that there were a few yellow card decisions in there that Newcastle were lucky to get away with, so how anyone could say we were the dirty side is beyond me.

"It was terribly unfortunate that we conceded in injury-time, but I don't think anyone could argue that we weren't the better side on the day.

"Well, I say I don't think so - but it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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