Michael Beale delivers 'quality' Newcastle United verdict that Sunderland supporters 'won't like'

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Newcastle United claimed their first Tyne-Wear derby win for 12 years after beating Sunderland 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland head coach Michael Beale admits the derby defeat to Newcastle United showed the gap between the two clubs.

The Magpies won 3-0 at the Stadium of the Light in what was the first Tyne-Wear derby for almost eight years. An own goal by Dan Ballard handed Eddie Howe's men the lead on 35 minutes before Alexander Isak's second-half brace wrapped up a comfortable victory.

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Beale says his players didn't "throw any punches" at Newcastle, who advanced into the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since Howe took charge in November 2021.

Sunderland head coach Michael Beale. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Sunderland head coach Michael Beale. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sunderland head coach Michael Beale. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

"Tough afternoon," said Beale. "I thought first-half, for the most part, we defended OK. In terms of possession, we weren't tidy enough, we didn't show enough quality to throw any punches at Newcastle really.

"We go in at half-time and we talk about being bold. We made a couple of changes to get people higher up the pitch and bring the back four higher, obviously we have the worst possible start to the second-half.

"After that, I actually thought we started getting into some interesting areas - Pritch hits the bar and the goalkeeper makes a fantastic save. If we had scored in that moment, I think the fans would have done the rest for us.

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"But the two goals we conceded in the second-half... the third goal is really poor on our part as well.

"Let's be honest, there was a gap between the two teams when we arrived at the stadium today and the end of the day, we've tried to close that gap over 90 minutes and we weren't able to do that.

"My young team must be really honest with themselves about today because then I think we'll improve. The big thing for us is being honest and not hiding away from the fact there is a gap."

Beale added: "This group needs to grow up quickly together. I think today was really good for them. The fans won't like me saying that because they want to win a derby against their biggest rivals but there is a financial and experience gap. The fact we believed we could surely means we're heading into the right direction.

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"The resistance we had today is the biggest resistance this young group has had for season, for sure. A lot has been spoken about them but they are a team that has beaten PSG for four and Chelsea in the recent past.

"They've had exposure as a group in terms of experience and level of football much greater than ours. We went out with the right intentions.

"I think there was a little bit of belief thing in our team which we spoke about at half-time but we shot ourselves in the foot straight away. As I say after that, I was happier with the second half performance but their quality and expertise made them a clear winner of the game, unfortunately.

"In his derby and this game, that's not how we want to feel but it's the reality right now. If we're not honest then we won't move forward. If we are then I think this young group can make big jumps in the coming months."

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