LAST-GASP hero Asamoah Gyan today insisted Sunderland shouldn’t be too downbeat at coming away with a solitary point from their derby revenge mission.
Gyan’s fortuitous stoppage time equaliser spared Sunderland’s blushes in the Wear-Tyne derby yesterday to deny Newcastle United a double over the Black Cats.
Steve Bruce’s men headed into the game desperate to avenge October’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of their arch rivals but again struggled to impose themselves on the Magpies.
Gyan admits nerves got the better of Sunderland but believes they can be happy with a 1-1 draw after pegging back Newcastle from the brink of victory.
“If we had scored in the early stages of the game, we would have been a bit disappointed with a draw,” Gyan told the Echo.
“But it looked like we were going to lose the game and all of a sudden we’ve scored in the last stages.
“All in all we are satisfied with a draw. It’s better than a loss.
“It was a difficult game, we wanted to win but then they scored.
“We made a lot of mistakes but the fans will be satisfied with the result because it looked like we were going to lose.
“Newcastle kept their composure playing some good football and we had to just change our tactics and take more risks.
“We were a bit more nervous because things weren’t going right.
“Although it wasn’t the best of games, we’ve got to be happy with the draw.”
In a typically scrappy affair, Newcastle took the lead seven minutes into the second half when Shola Ameobi headed down Joey Barton’s corner and Kevin Nolan flicked it into the net from point-blank range.
Sunderland barely troubled the Magpies until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Steve Harper spilled Phil Bardsley’s shot and the ball ricocheted off Gyan into the empty net.
“We wanted to win at all costs for the fans,” added Sunderland’s £13million record signing. “But we found ourselves one goal down which was disappointing and we had to fight our way back.
“Things weren’t going well for us, we were a bit nervous and we wanted to do more. It’s a pleasure scoring in the derby, it was a very important goal and I won’t forget about it.
“It’s really important for me, my family and the fans of Sunderland.
“As an attacker, sometimes you get ups and downs. You can get games without scoring. But I am someone who is mentally strong and I just focus on keeping going.
“I knew before the game what would happen if we scored and the reaction of the fans was amazing.”