Sunderland fans turned on Gus Poyet after Aston Villa ran riot at the Stadium of Light, with the home side producing a performance which saw them compared to a ‘pub team’, reports BBC Sport.
Sunderland emerged for the second half with 10 men, despite trailing 4-0.
Seb Larsson did not emerge until Poyet realised the situation three minutes into the second half, and was greeted with ironic cheers from the home fans – despite appearing to be limping.
Sunderland fans had already had to be restrained from the dugout by security after a dreadful first half display which saw them concede four goals to Tim Sherwood’s relegation threatened side without reply.
The majority of supporters left the ground at half time after a chorus of boos had greeted the referee’s whistle, with the result now leaving the Black Cats just one place and four points above the relegation zone.
“It’s like a pub team starting without a player who is having a fag in the car park,” said BBC pundit Chris Sutton.
Sunderland travel to West Ham next week, before hosting local rivals Newcastle at the Stadium of Light the following week.