SUNDERLAND defender Nedum Onuoha was left cursing the team’s bad luck following the 3-0 defeat at home to Fulham.
A positive first-half display brought little return in front of goal, with Fulham being more clinical when chances started to come their way.
For Onuoha, it was a case of déjà vu from the 2-0 loss at Birmingham City, where a good performance counted for nothing.
He said: “The fact we conceded in the first half must have been a surprise to everyone in the stadium because we were playing well.
“Then they managed to get a goal but, despite this, we felt determined to go out in the second half and overturn it.
“They scored again at a vital moment and we unravelled after that.
“We were unlucky with the chances we had.
“It was similar to the Birmingham game, where we played well and came away with a defeat. It is a tough league where you often have to be at your maximum.”
Onuoha was also handed the strange role of being moved up front midway through the second half as boss Steve Bruce – shy of natural striking options – tried an audacious gamble.
He added; “Steed ran himself into the ground as did Stephane.
“I think the manager just wanted to try something different and he put me up there.
“Unfortunately, Fulham had a lot of the ball so I could not influence things.” Of the gamble to throw one of his defenders up front, Bruce said: “We stuck Onuoha up front to give us a bit of presence – it was desperation.
“ I did see him play there for Manchester City’s youth team something like five years ago, but it is desperate when you have to do something like that in the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, Bruce will find out today if the injury crisis which has plagued the club since the new year has struck again with skipper Lee Cattermole and midfielder Jordan Henderson picking up knocks on Saturday.