Newcastle United will continue their fight for Premier League survival without the services of their first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul.
The Dutchman had to be substituted after 57 minutes of Newcastle's 3-0 loss to Sunderland in Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby, having landed awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder following an Adam Johnson cross.
As Paolo Di Canio celebrated his first victory as Sunderland manager, Alan Pardew was left to rue what he saw as a significant turning point in the clash at St James' Park. "Maybe if Tim hadn't got injured at that crucial point, it could have been 1-1, and we could have had an extra sub with extra energy," the Newcastle boss told The Chronicle.
"We could have brought on an extra offensive or defensive player, or whatever we needed. That got taken away. It was a game that really didn't work out for us. "
Reserver goalkeeper Rob Elliot replaced the injured Krul, but saw superb efforts from Johnson and David Vaughan fly past him to condemn the Magpies to their first home loss to their neighbours in 14 years.
Elliot was left to apologise to the club's shocked supporters through the club's official website, insisting a defeat of Sunday's magnitude "can never happen again."
"This is the lowest point," the 26-year-old said. "You dream of playing in one of these derbies and I am so proud to play for Newcastle United, but then that happens, and it cannot happen again. We have to look at ourselves and work out why we played like that after some good performances.
"It wasn't good enough, there are no excuses, and we have to make sure that this hurt drives us on now over the final five games. It feels awful and I never want to feel like this again."
The Blackcats' victory over their rivals leaves Newcastle precariously close to the relegation zone, just five points clear of 18th placed Wigan with just five games remaining. Sunderland, despite still sitting in 15th, significantly boosted their Premier League survival hopes after securing their first league win since January.