JAMES McCarthy admits Wigan Athletic paid a high price for the fear factor in the camp as Everton sneaked a point at the DW.
Latics looked like recording a first win in 10 games on Saturday when they took the lead deep into the final quarter through a Phil Neville own goal.
But the nerves were evident as Latics became decamped in their own half, and the pressure told when substitute Victor Anichebe headed home with eight minutes left.
The result leaves Latics rooted to the foot of the table with only 14 matches remaining, ahead of a massive derby against Bolton next weekend.
“We’re obviously disappointed in there – to be ahead going into the last 10 minutes and not win the game is very frustrating,” McCarthy told the Evening Post.
“We got the goal I felt we deserved, but maybe we got a little nervous towards the end and it was disappointing to concede from a set-piece.
“We had a decent shout for a penalty at the end, but the referee thought otherwise and it’s just not going for us at the moment.
“It could be a big point for us, but the over-riding feeling is of disappointment because we put ourselves in a winning position.
“It’s gone now, though, and we need to look at next week’s game at Bolton to try to put it right.”
The result means Latics are still without a win at home since the end of August, and the Republic of Ireland midfielder acknowledges it’s a stat they must put right – and fast.
“We wanted to get three points on the board for the fans who have stuck by us, and it adds to the frustration that we weren’t able to do that,” he added.
“I thought we were very poor in the first half, but in the second half we were brilliant and we really had a go at a top, top side.
“For us to have had large spells of possession against a team as good as Everton, and looked dominant at times, is a good sign.
“The mood in the camp is still great – we’re all sticking together and we know we can do it.
“The gaffer instills confidence in us week in, week out, in training and that won’t change.
“Next week will be massive.
“It’s a derby, and we know that we need to take maximum points.
“There’s still 14 games to go, 14 cup finals, and if we can end the season as strongly as we did last season and the season before we’ll be fine.”