Nosworthy pleads his innocence

Defender left bemused by penalty award

Nosworthy: Unfairly penalised

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Nyron Nosworthy has bemoaned the penalty decision which put Manchester City on the road to victory on Saturday.

The Sunderland defender was adjudged to have tripped City forward Daniel Sturridge as the youngster burst into the box, allowing Brazilian playmaker Elano to fire the visitors in front from the resulting spot-kick.

Replays of the incident would appear to suggest that Nosworthy was on the wrong end of a poor decision from referee Mike Riley, and the defender remains frustrated at the ruling after the Black Cats eventually went on to lose the game 2-1.

Accident

"The lad's heel came up and kicked me on the knee," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"I was not that close to him and the contact was a total accident.

"He seemed to carry on a little but before going down.

"It was very disappointing. To be honest, I missed the chance to head the ball clear in the first place before the lad got through, so I am gutted."

Accusations

Sunderland went into the weekend fixture on the back of three consecutive victories, a run which had lifted them to the verge of Premier League safety.

With their relegation fears subsiding, manager Roy Keane had suggested that his players relaxed too much against City and were made to pay the price.

However, Nosworthy has rejected these allegations and insists that the squad remain focused on the task in hand.

"I think it would be unfair to accuse us of that," he said.

"We want to do well for ourselves and for our club every time we go onto the pitch.

"None of us had our feet up thinking the job was done."

Fate

The Black Cats make the short trip to Newcastle on Sunday for an eagerly anticipated local derby, and Nosworthy feels that St James' Park would provide the ideal surroundings for the club to get their survival bid back on track.

"Our fate is still in our own hands. If we win our games, we will not go down," he said.

"I cannot think of a better game to get back to winning ways and ensure safety than the derby.

"I have played in one derby up there and I know it will be fierce."