SEB LARSSON is invariably the first player in red and white to swarm around the referee and give him an earful if a decision goes against Sunderland.
“I tend to talk to the referees every now and then!” says the Swede with a healthy dose of understatement.
But Larsson has had plenty of cause for complaint this season.
Blatant penalty decisions have gone against Sunderland at key moments against Southampton, Hull and Bradford, while last weekend’s stalemate against West Brom increased the sense of injustice after the Black Cats saw a goal wrongly disallowed and Baggies defender Joleon Lescott was debatably spared a red card.
It’s a cause of frustration in the Sunderland camp, yet midfielder Larsson knows the Black Cats can do nothing about the standard of officiating, other than hope a decision or two goes in their favour.
Larsson said: “I’m sure it will turn by the end of the season. It normally evens itself out.
“We can’t get stuck thinking about it too much.
“In a way, you have to earn your luck as well. Hopefully we can start doing that and get a few decisions go our way. But of course it’s frustrating.”
The failure to allow Johnson’s goal to stand against West Brom was a blow though, particularly when Sunderland were so desperate for a victory to lighten the mood against a well-drilled Baggies side.
Larsson added: “We were pushing against West Brom, who are tough to break down. They came for a point.
“We tried our best to break them down and then you do get a good goal, which you need to open the game up, but then it gets disallowed.
“It’s part of the game. It always has been and always will be, so you have to deal with it. Obviously I heard that it was a good goal and frustration comes in.
“You want to let them (the referees) know that they’ve made a big mistake, hoping it might benefit you later on.”