Gus Poyet said it would be a "shame" if Sunderland went down after a stirring 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge but expressed sympathy for Jose Mourinho and stated he didn’t "expect" to get the type of penalty that won Saturday's game.
Cesar Azpilicueta was controversially adjudged to have taken Jozy Altidore down in the 81st minute, with Fabio Borini then rolling in the spot-kick.
Despite the Chelsea manager's complaints, Sunderland were full value for a victory that ended Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge. The decision provoked fury from the Portuguese and coach Rui Faria, who sought to confront referee Mike Dean.
"If it was against me, I would do the same," Poyet said. "Emotion, key moment in the season, it could be the key moment for the title, that one. When it's four you, you feel you can see why he gave it. Especially the linesman: Azpilicueta going down. But if it was against me, in a situation like that, I would have been fuming, for sure.
"From where I was, I couldn't comment. I saw it on the computer and I understand why they can be talking if it was or not. It's very difficult. I never, ever would expect to get a penalty here. Ever.”
The victory now puts Sunderland within three points of an unexpected survival, following the 2-2 draw at Manchester City in midweek.
"If we don't stay up now it will be a shame, really. Wednesday, 5 p.m., we were dead and then we got a point against City and should have been there. We got three here, which offered a great opportunity."
"We needed fight, to defend, to stay in the game, to make it difficult for them, to take a chance or two. Overall, coming here on the bottom of the Premier league and coming here playing the way we did is quite decent.
"That's us. That's our season. When we play against the top teams we perform somehow better than we do against those at the bottom. It's nice. Special for me as well. But we needed the points."