Grant McCann felt a draw was probably the fair result after seeing his Hull City side come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with promotion rivals Sunderland at the KCOM Stadium.
Josh Magennis scored in both halves to ensure that the gap between the top-of-the-table Tigers and the third-placed Black Cats remains at eleven points after an entertaining clash.
“We didn’t start well,” said McCann afterwards.
“Credit to Sunderland because they really came at us in the first 20 or 25 minutes in the way that we thought they would and it was a disappointing first goal for us to concede. After that I thought we came on strong and showed some good character.
“It was a good header from Josh Magennis after good work from Mallik to get us back in the game, but the second goal for Sunderland from the penalty is shocking really. How the assistant can give a penalty when someone has their hands in a natural position about a yard away…we’ve had penalties given against us for hands being raised this season and those are the rules, but tonight Callum’s hand was in a natural position when the ball gets hit against him.
“I felt we were let down a little bit on that tonight, and on a couple of other things like the elbow on Jacob Greaves in the first half and one on Josh Magennis in the second.
“For me that was the best two teams in the league going against each other but I thought the game was spoiled by some of the decisions.
“I thought we got stronger as the game went on and we looked good in the second half. It was another good bit of play from Mallik to set up the second for Josh and after that second equaliser it was a bit like a basketball game and we both had chances.
“Matt Ingram made a great save late on and we had a couple of good chances at the other end, and on the balance of play it was probably a fair result.”
The draw saw the Tigers’ unbeaten run extended to 12 games and, although McCann was targeting all three points, he was satisfied with the result.
“We went into the game looking to win it,” added McCann.
“We haven’t got the win in the end but I always say if we don’t win it, then don’t lose it. That’s 12 games unbeaten now at a crucial time in the season. We’ll get ready to go again on Saturday now."