Bruce rues Sunderland nerves

Cats boss unhappy after late equaliser

Bruce: Frustrated with nerves

Bruce: Frustrated with nerves

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was disappointed his side could not hang on for the win against Everton.

The Black Cats were undone in the 85th minute thanks to an equalising goal from Marouane Fellaini, who slammed home from close range.

Darren Bent had given the home side the lead in the first half after linking up well with strike-partner Kenwyne Jones, but Everton were knocking on the door for the entire second half.

Having conceded a goal in the last 10 seconds against Portsmouth in their previous home game, Bruce was left frustrated once more.

"We needed the second one didn't we," he told Sky Sports. "It's always the case you need another goal - especially after what happened after our last home game where we conceded an equaliser against Portsmouth in the last 10 seconds.

"We got a bit edgy and got a bit nervous and went in my opinion too deep.

"We didn't do the basics right, especially in the last 15, 20 minutes of the game.

"(I'm) disappointed that we've conceded, but there you go, that's the Premier League.

"It was a fantastic crowd today, on a big Boxing Day game, and that's the disappointment - we've got to make sure we take away and eradicate this edginess that creeps in.

"We have to be able to handle that better, and especially playing here among a big crowd.

"There's a big, huge expectant crowd and we became a bit nervous and edgy today and that transferred around the stadium."

Although Bruce was unhappy with the late equaliser, he praised Darren Bent's first-half header.

Wonderful

"(It was) a wonderful goal, for me it will take some beating for goal of the day," he added. "But you know we're just disappointed that we haven't been able to hang on.

"That's two home games now, what a difference four points would have made.

"We've conceded in the last five minutes today, and unfortunately we conceded against Portsmouth in the last 10 seconds.

"So very, very disappointed - it feels like a defeat almost.

"There was a sort of inevitability about it, and we have to eradicate that if we are going to move forward."

John Mensah had an excellent game in central defence for the Black Cats, although he limped off in the second half with a hamstring injury and will soon depart for the African Cup of Nations.

"We can all see that John Mensah is a really, really good player, but unfortunately he has hurt his hamstring again," Bruce remarked.

"We wish we could get him fit and able because we have made too many changes defensively."

The Sunderland tactician also added that he might dabble in the transfer market when the window opens in January

"Well we'll see," he said. "It's always a difficult time in my opinion.

"The big clubs, the good players don't really come available in January. But no doubt we will have a look in the market.

"We're a little bit stretched at the minute with injuries and suspensions so we'll have a see."