Sam Allardyce returned to Premier League management in fine form, blaming the referee for Sunderland’s defeat to West Brom.
Saido Berahino cashed in on Costel Pantilimon’s second-half error to condemn Sam Allardyce to defeat in his first game in charge of the Black Cats.
It left Sunderland second bottom and they could fall to the foot of the Premier League table if Newcastle avoid defeat to Norwich on Sunday. But Allardyce claimed Berahino fouled Pantilimon for Albion’s winner.
He said: “We’ll probably get a ticking off for surrounding the referee after the goal went in but I could hardly blame them for that because the referee has made such a big error. If we get a double punishment it’ll be pretty difficult to take.
“It wasn’t our fault we lost the game, I thought it was his fault on a decision he made not to give a free kick.”
Sunderland face Newcastle at the Stadium of Light next Sunday with both teams yet to win in the league this season, and Allardyce hopes the Black Cats can continue their winning sequence against the Magpies.
He said: “All they have to do is carry on from five times before, they have been in this position before. The last five games they have played Newcastle they have won.
“They didn’t look like conceding a goal today which is a great platform for us to build on.”