Overpowering occasion

Saturday 27 April 2002

The last match to be played at Craven Cottage, as we know it, saw the match overshadowed by the occasion.

All the pieces of the jigsaw were in place. The last game at a historic stadium, past Fulham greats on hand, Jean Tigana's 100th match in charge and the return of Micky Adams.

In the end Adams' stubborn style of play, which won so many hearts at the Cottage, succeeded in reducing events on the pitch to a combination of instantly forgettable moments.

Speaking after the match, Adams' words would have had had a familiar ring for the Fulham faithful.

"We were well aware of the carnival atmosphere but if a cake was being presented we wanted to blow out the candles."

He continued, "I can only apologise to the fans that it wasn't the most entertaining game in the world. They gave me a great reception and it was more than I expected."

Whites manager Jean Tigana agreed with Adams' sentiments and conceded that the game was not worthy of the occasion.

"It was a very bad game and I'm disappointed because it was our last game at home.

"The players lost confidence when they were near the box and we have to work on improving that.

"I try all the time to get maximum points but I am not happy. Last year we scored many goals but this year was a big step and I have many things to work on this summer. We needed to play more quickly and get more players scoring."