Sunderland boss bemoans refereeing decisions costing his side

MK Dons 2-2 Sunderland
Lee JohnsonLee Johnson
Lee Johnson

The Sunderland players let Dons back in the game by sitting back after they scored their opener.

Charlie Wyke fired Sunderland into a fifth-minute lead, but according to manager Lee Johnson, his side looked as though they were happy to 'sit it out' and hold on to their lead.

It allowed Joe Mason and Cameron Jerome to fire Dons 2-1 up after 19 minutes before Luke O'Nien levelled 10 minutes into the second half.

"I liked a lot of our performance, but I didn't like a 15 minute spell in the first half," Johnson said. "It wasn't just the goals, it's easy to say when you concede two. It was our sloppiness, our lack of urgency, it was like we scored the goal and thought we'd sit it out.

"We didn't squeeze up enough, in or out of possession, we didn't communicate well enough.

"At half time I was pretty aggressive in telling them that because if we play like we did for the rest of the game for 96 minutes, teams will not live with us.

"We've been unfortunate today, a really poor set of officials and some wayward finishing, and good goalkeeping as well."

Johnson also pointed the finger at referee Tom Nield, who was a source of frustration for both dugouts during the game.

"Both sides can feel a little aggrieved with the refereeing, if I'm honest," the Sunderland boss added.

"Luke O'Nien could have gone for a second yellow, if we're honest, though he would have been unlucky.

"We 100% should have had a penalty in the second half for a handball, the arm was in an unnatural position and the rules clearly say it's a penalty.

"The second goal was 100% offside as well, that's a clear mistake. Some of the officiating beggared belief, to be honest.

"I'm not usually one to talk about officials and I'm certainly not making that as an excuse, because I thought it was for both teams."