Tigana rues missed chances

Sunday 20 January 2002

Fulham boss Jean Tigana said he was disappointed by his team's failure to defeat Sunderland after dominating their match at the Stadium of Light.

Steed Malbranque had given the visitors the lead after 15 minutes and the London club created numerous chances to kill off the game.

But Peter Reid's team scored a 67th-minute equaliser through the irrepressible Kevin Phillips.

"I'm very disappointed today because it was possible to win and we lost two points today," said Tigana.

"We had many chances to score and it's important that we score more goals.

"But we are progressing because a lot of my players have never played at the top level.

"We have found our feet at this level and we need to take the next step now. The players are learning all the time, and at the end of the game, they were very disappointed."

Tigana was pleased with the performance of Malbranque, who was signed for £4m from French club Lyon.

"Steed is progressing, but sometimes he has to learn to take a kick," he said. "But he's a good player.

Reid was full of praise for Phillips after the former Watford player ensured the Black Cats took a point from the game.

"You know what I think about him," he said. "You must be fed up with me, the accolades I throw at the kid.

"I think you all know I'm trying to get another striker in and I'll settle for another one like him.

"He's just a terrific footballer, single-minded, and I thought it was a great display today.

But Reid is now facing up to the prospect of another selection headache after Gavin McCann left the field with a suspected broken nose following a clash with Zat Knight.

And Schwarz - playing his first senior game since November 3 - picked up his fifth booking of the season.

"I think Gavin's got a beaut," he admitted. "His nose is all over his face.

"Hopefully it will improve his looks when we can get him into the operating theatre.

"I thought Stefan was one of the best players on the pitch. It was an excellent performance by him."