Allardyce stews after Sunderland blows late derby lead to Newcastle

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Oh, Sunderland, what has happened to you?

A point at St. James Park on Derby Day is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Black Cats should’ve been free and clear of the drop zone with all three points on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | Watch Mitrovic’s equalizer ]

Instead, a late equalizer from Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the Magpies a tie ahead of Newcastle’s trip to 17th place Norwich last week, a side they blasted 6-2 earlier this season.

Outspoken manager Sam Allardyce was not pleased with his team.

“For me, if we don’t start getting these clean sheets it’s going to be a massive problem. We are a team that has to score twice to win. Sadly we didn’t get the second goal and we conceded late on again. We had the chances to put the game to bed, but missed them.

“Second half, I don’t know why we sat in and let Newcastle come at us. Maybe that was the size of the game, but in the end we haven’t done that and it’s two points dropped. We should have won this one. We need four wins from the last eight, so it’s now must-win rather than draw.”

Allardyce made some mind-boggling subs in the final 20 minutes, and it remains to be seen how many were because of injuries. Wahbi Khazri, Jan Kirchhoff and Younes Kaboul were all removed from the game in favor of John O'Shea, Lee Cattermole and Dame N'Doye. Only the Cattermole sub occurred after the goal. Kaboul may’ve been injured.

The Black Cats now stew on this draw over the international break before consecutive home matches against West Brom and Leicester City, then an all-important trip to Norwich City.