No Touchline Tussle This Time?
Martin O'Neill doesn't want a touchline row between himself and Alan Pardew during the Sunderland-Newcastle derby.
They had an argument during the derby at St James' Park in March.
Two Sunderland players were sent off, eight players were booked, a member of the Newcastle back-room staff was dismissed at half-time for a clash in the tunnel with Sunderland's fitness coach and there was a huge melee in the first half involving players from both teams.
The Football Association fined Newcastle £40,000 (they had already been charged with misconduct earlier in the season) and Sunderland £20,000 for failure to control their players.
Martin O'Neill: "Obviously I hope there wouldn't be a repeat of that, if at all possible.
"In the heat of the moment things can happen. Since then I have spoken to Alan Pardew on a number of occasions, but particularly to say to him well done on being Manager of the Year.
"It was not particularly edifying. These things can happen on the spur of the moment, things that you can be very embarrassed with and annoyed with yourself afterwards.
"I hope maybe we have both learned a lesson from the previous encounter. Our first aim is to be, at the very least, the best team around here. No 1 at the very least.
"I have been involved in a number of derbies, none bigger than Glasgow, but for intensity this is up there with the best of them.
"You just don't want to let people down. My assistant Steve Walford spoke about the intensity immediately after the game at St James' Park. He felt it was the same as games we had with Rangers at Celtic Park."
Source: Newcastle United Mad
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