Trai Hume’s refereeing verdict after Sunderland’s defeat against Middlesbrough and Dan Neil’s red card

Trai Hume reflects on Sunderland’s heavy defeat against Middlesbrough after Dan Neil’s red card at the Stadium of Light.

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Trai Hume says referee Jarred Gillett lost control of Sunderland’s match against Middlesbrough and that officials need to communicate better with players.

The Black Cats felt aggrieved after Dan Neil was sent off on the stroke of half-time - when the contest was still goalless - after the midfielder was shown a second yellow card for dissent. Middlesbrough won the match 4-0, while Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray was critical of Gillett’s first-half decision.

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When asked about how the game was officiated, Hume replied: “Some referees you can talk to and some referees don’t so they need to find that balance because we want to talk to them and ask why was that not a foul, why was this given? But some of them don’t speak to you.

“Obviously you saw that with Dan trying to speak to the ref and he showed him a yellow card and then a red straight after. They just need to find that balance really.”

Tempers also boiled over on the stroke of half-time, after Neil’s red card, as Dan Ballard and Middlesbrough’s Josh Coburn clashed. Asked if he felt the referee lost control of the game, Hume replied: “I definitely think so. The referee didn’t have control of the game from the start. They made a lot of fouls and haven’t got booked and then we make a few fouls and players get booked for our team.

“They just need to find that balance, they need to find what’s right and what’s wrong and at the minute they just can’t seem to find it.”

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Neil will be suspended for Sunderland’s game at Stoke after the international break, after starting all 11 league matches for the Black Cats this season.

“Especially in recent weeks I think he’s been one of our best players in the team,” said Hume when asked about the midfielder’s importance. “His performances have been outstanding all season and losing him in that midfield he has a lot of experience as well. To lose that experience against a good team like them is tough.”

“It’s tough to take. We obviously came into the game thinking we would get three points, obviously that hasn’t happened but we’ll come back after the international break against Stoke and try to get on a good run of form again.”