Praise from Roeder

Thursday 24 October 2002

Fulham's defeat to West Ham United on Wednesday evening was the first occasion that the Whites have lost at Loftus Road this season. The fact that Jean Tigana's men had just come off the back of a testing match against Manchester United probably had a significant bearing on the final outcome.

However, whilst Fulham fans will be holding their own inquests into the reason for Wednesday's defeat - jubilant Hammers boss Glenn Roeder was more than complementary of Fulham's performances and status this season.

Listening to the Hammers boss speaking after the match, one couldn't help but feel that his sentiments were not only intended to increase the importance of his side's victory, but he actually held Fulham in general high esteem.

"The fact that Fulham hadn't lost at Loftus Road shouldn't be missed," said Roeder. "They are a terrific team that took a lot of money to put together. I watched the video of the match against Manchester United on Saturday and they were excellent. Really, Manchester United were lucky to come away with a point."

Whites fans will undoubtedly point to the fact that Tigana made a series of changes from the side that took the field against United. With Davis and Sava out through injury, Tigana rested Goma, Brevett and Ouaddou in preparation for a hectic fixture schedule which sees Fulham playing two games a week for the next three weeks.

Roeder said, "I know there were five changes, but the five who came in were good players. Fair play to Tigana, he picked ever such an attacking side against us. He played plenty of forward thinking players.

"When we were allowed to pass the ball, we passed it well but the big difference in Fulham this year is that they're pressing so much higher up the pitch. They're getting a lot more tackles in and they're still playing their quality passing game. Again, that's all credit to their coach who has got that bit extra out of his players this year.

"They were a very attractive side last year but he's added some steel to the team and that's why they've had such a good start. Fulham are certainly a team that I would go out of my way to watch."