Alan Pardew has admitted that Sunderland were 'the better team' in the Tyne and Wear derby.
The Newcastle manager isn't really especially well-known for his humility, but was in surprisingly magnanimous form following the Magpies' 3-0 loss to their infinitely more illustrious neighbours. He told Sky Sports:
The better team won for sure.
Of course I am disappointed at the result and performance.
We were not our usual selves today, perhaps we were too hyped up but everyone was giving the ball away, and that is a little unlike us and we struggled to be honest.
Although we created chances we never really had the conviction to score, and we have taken two big parts of goalscoring out the team and we are going to have to reflect on this result and look at ourselves.
We came up against a Sunderland team we knew were in good form and once they got that first goal it raised their game and disjointed us, and we tried to chase it and rush things around the box when we are normally much calmer.
You don't want to lose to your rivals and in these circumstances which has happened two years in a row now but we have to be strong.
Almost as surprising as Pardew not being a berk is perhaps the fact that he managed to get through six whole sentences without somberly mentioning the word 'Cabaye', but fair play to him for giving Sunderland the credit they deserved.
Given the pressure that this result will bring upon him - a Newcastle fan ran onto the pitch to try and hand him his season ticket during the second half - it's not as easy an admission to make as we sometimes believe it should be.