A game of frustration

Monday 15 April 2002

Manager Jean Tigana watched from the sidelines as this season's FA Cup run came to an end against Chelsea at Villa Park.

A goal from John Terry, which went in via a Saha deflection, put paid to Tigana's hopes of getting to the final in Cardiff.

No doubt spurred on by the fact that Arsenal's win over Middlesbrough would have ensured certain European qualification had Fulham won, the Whites simply couldn't find a way to get the ball in the net.

Speaking after the match, a frustrated Jean Tigana was especially disappointed for the thousands of Fulham fans who made the trip to Villa Park.

"It's normal that we are very disappointed and it's very sad for our fans.

"But we need to keep our focus on staying up. The main difference between the sides was experience of playing at the top level. Desailly, Hasselbaink, Petit... they have played at a high level. We need to score immediately to kill the game. Everybody blames the strikers but you also need the good balls.

"It was a match that summed up our season. We did not play too badly and had our chances but we did not score. That's been our problem and that's why I'm very frustrated.

"The Chelsea team played back, that's experienced players."