Martin Jol was left ruing missed chances as he saw his side go down by three goals to one against Sunderland at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon.
After Brede Hangeland saw red in the first half, Mladen Petric had hauled Fulham level in the second period after Steven Fletcher had given the away side the lead, only for the Mackems to immediately go back in front through Carlos Cuellar.
Stephane Sessegnon extended their advantage, but, to their credit, the Whites pressed until the final whistle as they searched for a way back into the match.
“Maybe we should have scored once or twice but it was difficult when we had someone sent off with 15 minutes to play in the first half,” Jol said. “I thought we still had the quality to score one or two goals.
“So it was very disappointing to concede the first goal because with ten men it is difficult to play in their half and to take the initiative. We had to make the decision whether to make the balance in the team again or to go for it with three centre forwards and I tried that and it paid off.
“Of course the shape was gone and they maybe could have scored one or two more but, to be honest, we could have scored three so I feel that the third goal was probably the killer blow because otherwise I was fully convinced that we could have scored the second one.”
Hangeland’s dismissal – our first red card of the season – meant his side faced an uphill struggle from thereon in, but his Manager absolved him of any blame.
“I can’t remember having a red card at this Club so there is no issue for me,” he explained. “Brede is a nice boy and he told me that it was not intentional and that he slipped. He went in with his left foot with the tackle and then he slipped. I don’t think that is a common thing for him.”
Fulham’s misery was compounded by injuries to Alexander Kačaniklić and Bryan Ruiz, and our Manager confirmed the bad news that they were both hamstring strains.
“We’re looking at them being out for least three weeks each,” he said.