Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul has hit back at Jamie Carragher, insisting the Sky Sports pundit's criticism of his congratulations to Jermain Defoe was “not justified”.
Carragher told Super Sunday said he could not understand Krul's actions after he was filmed smiling and joking with Defoe in the tunnel at half-time, just moments after Defoe had smashed a superb volley beyond him to give Sunderland the lead.
Defoe's goal proved to be the decider in a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light, lifting Sunderland three points clear of the relegation places, and Newcastle boss John Carver also spoke out in defence of Krul's actions.
Krul told Sky Sports: “Listen, I'm a Geordie, I’ve been at this club for 10 years and I’m as hurt as anybody else so whoever wants to put negatives like that on me, it’s not justified.
"I’m going home with a lot of pain in my heart. To see those travelling fans have to travel back to Newcastle without the win again it hurts me as much as them.
“It was a fantastic goal and everybody has to accept that. What I actually told him I probably can’t repeat on television because it wasn’t a nice gesture. it was more in the region of 'what a lucky guy he is', but with a bit more venom behind it."
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Toon boss Carver said: "Let me tell you, if there's one guy in that dressing room who cares about this football club then it’s Tim Krul.
"Whenever we have any issues, whenever we’re not happy with the performance, Tim’s always the guy that steps forward and acts like a captain.
"Give me Tim Krul any day of the week because he is Newcastle United crazy. He’s a top professional and if that sort of thing has gone on, then it happens in the game.
"We get slaughtered when we're not sportsmen. When you see a bit of skill, then you have to accept it."