Royle cross on two counts

Town boss Joe Royle was left seething on two counts at the Stadium of Light last night. He was angry at the defeat from a game he considered his team should have won.

By Dave Allard

Town boss Joe Royle was left seething on two counts at the Stadium of Light last night.

He was angry at the defeat from a game he considered his team should have won.

And the experienced Blues chief claimed that Kevin Kyle – who grabbed Sunderland's 85th minute winner – should have been sent off after being booked early on.

Royle said: "To give away a goal like we did just before half-time was criminal. Our inability to deal with crosses really disappointed me.

"On top of that I really do feel that the lad who scored the winner should not have been on the field at the time.

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"I know referees have a hard job to do but in all honesty I felt he could have been sent off twice. I spoke with their manager Mick McCarthy after the game and I think he would agree."

Royle added: "Our keeper Kelvin Davis has had an excellent season but we still haven't kept a clean sheet. This is something that really disappoints me. We've lost a game we should have won. We were so in control in the first half and if we had come in 1-0 up at half-time then it would have been a different story."

Sunderland counterpart Mick McCarthy acknowledged that he sympathised with Royle after the game regarding the result. But on the Kyle issue he insisted: "Too many good things happened in the game for that to be an issue as far as I am concerned."

"Joe and I agree to disagree. But we have both played the game, me at the back and Joe up front and that's the way it goes."

The Stadium of Light boss went on: "I thought Kevin Kyle was a different class. He frustrated their defenders and excited our crowd. The lad had done so well this season for me that defenders must be sick of the sight of him.

"I don't think he deserved to be sent off. He rubs central halves up and comes out on top. His all round displays have improved and he puts the ball in the net.

"I thought it was a brilliant match. Ipswich were excellent in the first half. But we found something in the dressing room at half-time and gave an excellent second-half display.

"I thought Ipswich were as good a side as we have played this season. But we certainly turned things around after the break."

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