Adel Taarabt admitted an underperforming Fulham side didn’t deserve to win against Sunderland on Saturday.
The 4-1 victory for the Black Cats gave a slightly lopsided view of events but Taarabt was honest in his appraisal of Fulham’s display.
“We didn’t perform as well as we have done recently,” he told the official website. “If we’d have scored first it would have been a different game but we made it difficult for ourselves.
“I tried to make things happen but Lee Cattermole was behind me all the time and he tried to frustrate me. I stayed calm but the play was compact and there wasn’t much space for me and Dimitar Berbatov – it was difficult. Credit to Sunderland, but we’re all very disappointed.”
Fulham started brightly; Berbatov had two good opportunities, while Taarabt forced an excellent stop from Vito Mannone prior to Adam Johnson’s 29th-minute opener.
“I had a big chance and if I’d have scored that one, it would have been different,” mused Taarabt. “We didn’t play as well as we should have done and we didn’t deserve to win the game.
“We haven’t been playing too badly of late but if we’d have won against Sunderland, we could have been as high as 12th or 13th in the table. We said before the Norwich City league match on Boxing Day that if we could take nine points from the next four games we’d be very happy. We just took six which isn’t bad but Sunderland was a big day for us and we didn’t perform.”
One highlight on a disappointing afternoon in SW6 was the return of Clint Dempsey to the Cottage turf following his loan switch from Seattle Sounders.
Taarabt said: “He’s done well in the past here and now he’s back. He knows what we want from him – we need hard workers and people who can win games. Hopefully he will do well for us.”
After facing Norwich City at home in their FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round Replay on Tuesday night, it doesn’t get much easier for Fulham in the Barclays Premier League when the Whites head to title-chasing Arsenal on Saturday.
Taarabt, though, insists Fulham ‘have nothing to lose’ at the Emirates, and believes the Whites can come away with a result.
He added: “When we play big teams we have to go there and try and get points. If we get one point then great, but why not try and get three? We have nothing to lose. Arsenal will be the favourites but in this league anything can happen and that’s how we have to approach the game.”