Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has spoken to The Chronicle, and slammed former team mate Chris Sutton over comments made to the BBC.
Sutton, who played with Poyet at Chelsea, told BBC's Final Score that Sunderland 'looked like a pub team' when midfielder Seb Larsson came out for the second half later than the rest of his team mates in the 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
It was a dark afternoon for Sunderland, whose defeat to Villa drags them right into the relegation dogfight after a sixth straight game without a win.
Manager Poyet is now under increasing pressure at the Stadium of Light, but he was keen to discuss Sutton's controversial comments after the game.
Speaking to The Chronicle, Poyet branded Sutton 'disrespectful', and set about explaining just why his side started the second half with only ten men on the field as Larsson arrived late after half time.
"I have seen a piece of information that came out where someone accused us of being a pub team and suggested that Seb Larsson was having a fag in the car park. I think you need to be careful, because people read and trust what you put out – more than you think. They say ‘it’s true, because I heard it in the news’ or ‘I read it in the newspaper’," said Poyet.
"Seb Larsson is one of the biggest and best professionals we have got in the football club. He had a massive cut in his leg they were trying to stitch it and they couldn’t do it quick enough. He didn’t want to come off because he felt partly responsible for the 4-0 in the first half, so we waited for him."
"So be careful. It is very disrespectful from a fellow professional. Seb Larsson doesn’t deserve that," he added.
Sunderland now sit just one point and one place above the relegation zone, and with a vitriolic atmosphere at the Stadium of Light, Poyet is in real danger right now.
Sutton's comments don't help matters, but maybe Sunderland's defending against Villa could have also been categorised as being like a pub team.