Norwich City boss Chris Hughton rues rough justice in Sunderland draw

Norwich boss Chris Hughton and Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill try to get their message across

Norwich boss Chris Hughton and Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill try to get their message across in Sunday's eventful 1-1 Premier League draw. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton insisted his 10 men had suffered rough justice in a stirring Premier League 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

The Norwich boss focused primarily on the handball incident involving Wearsiders' left-back Danny Rose as his major source of frustration in a contentious Sunday afternoon tussle at the Stadium of Light. Canaries' keeper Mark Bunn was red-carded 30 minutes into the game after he was adjudged to have handled outside his penalty area. Sebastien Bassong was then found guilty of the same crime inside the visiting box when he conceded a first-half spot- kick despatched by Craig Gardner to cancel out Wes Hoolahan's opener.

But it was Rose's illegal intervention in blocking Russell Martin's driven low cross that irked Hughton entering the final quarter of a gripping contest.

'The frustration for me is one is given and one isn't. I know the sending-off is the biggest decision because it puts us down to 10 men but the two penalty incidents have frustrated me the most,' he said.

'The Danny Rose incident is clearly inside the box. Even if Seb's is handball, the (Sunderland) lad is in an offside position and the assistant is looking right along the line. He makes the decision on the handball but not the offside fractions before.

'I haven't had a chance to speak to the officials and that is normal after the game because the frustrations are high and you really want to be clear about what you are saying.'

Hughton delivered an honest assessment when pressed for his verdict on the two first-half incidents which checked Norwich's early momentum.

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'No doubt the sending-off will be analysed further over the next day or two but I did fear when I saw Mark Bunn come out of his goal because there was always a risk,' he said.

'Whether it was intentional or not you don't know but speaking to him he is adamant the ball hit him underneath his arm. You just run the risk.

'With the Bassong one if it is deemed as handball, what is certainly also the case is the lad has come from an offside position and that is the same assistant who gives the penalty decision.

'One thing I have been able to see from my position is the Danny Rose one.

'Initially I wasn't sure if it was handball, but I did know he was in the box. So it hasn't been a good day for us regarding decisions, but it has been in terms of what resilience my team showed.'

Hughton was proud of the way Norwich responded to sustained adversity in the north-east.

'Most will want to speak about the penalty decisions, but personally, the first thing I want to speak about is what my team gave,' he said.

'To be down to 10 men for as long as we were and to come out of it in normal play with the best chance of the game, when Grant Holt is through and if his first touch is a bit better he is on for a one versus one, says a lot. Sunderland of course had a lot of crosses and shots outside the box but I can't remember a clear chance.

'You have to give credit to a group of lads who were desperate to get something out of this game.'