Sam Allardyce believes fear got the better of his Crystal Palace side in the 4-0 defeat to Sunderland.
The former Black Cats boss saw his side go in at half-time trailing 4-0 after Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and a double from Jermain Defoe put Sunderland in a commanding lead at the break.
Allardyce sent his players out five minutes early for the second half but they couldn't find a way back into the match, with Sunderland heading back to Wearside with a crucial three points in the relegation battle.
"I think today was all about fear for the players," said Allardyce.
"Fear overtook them and they lost control. You have to keep control mentally, and much more so when you go a goal down.
"It is apparent now that the players are struggling. I've got to get rid of that fear and get them playing much better.
"I saw it against Swansea and again today – we've lost to teams below us and there has been that fear.
"We have to overcome that fear we have playing here. The fans want to support them, but we have got to give them something to get behind."