Martin Jol admitted his frustration at leaving the Stadium of Light with only a point on Saturday afternoon, having seen his side storm into a two-goal lead against Sunderland.
A Dimitar Berbatov penalty and a Sascha Riether tap-in had put the away side firmly in control, before the Black Cats were handed a lifeline when Philippe Senderos was harshly adjudged to have pulled back Danny Graham in the box.
Craig Gardner emphatically scored the resultant penalty, with Stephane Sessegnon’s strike in the second half completing the comeback
“Of course, if you see the second half then you expect something to happen [from Sunderland],” Jol said. “But if you see the first half, we controlled the game, we dominated them.
“We scored the goals at the right moments and I still feel that the penalty situation was not even soft – that sort of thing happens a lot of times – there was a little bit of contact but it was never a penalty kick.”
Seconds before Sunderland grabbed the equaliser, Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mignolet pulled off a fantastic save from Berbatov to keep his side in the contest in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the match.
“In the second half we should have scored to make it 3-1 just before they scored to make it 2-2,” our Manager admitted. “So, in hindsight, if you saw the first half I think we deserved a bit more.
“After that we had a one-on-one with the keeper so we could have won it, so that is disappointing against a good side. They’ve not had a lot of wins at home so we made them play very adventurously.
“They had a lot of forward players in sort of a 4-2-4, and we dominated the midfield and I still feel that we should have punished them.”
The result still moves Fulham into the top half of the Barclays Premier League table, but the loss of the two-goal lead remains a bitter pill to swallow.
Victory would have put the Whites on 35 points and Jol remains wary of how tight things are down at the bottom.
“Before today you knew that if they beat us they would have gone on 32 points as well,” he explained. “If you look at Southampton, they’re in the bottom four or five, and if they’d have won against Queens Park Rangers today they would have been on 30 points.
“So everyone can be dragged into a very difficult situation so, on the one hand, it’s a good point but, on the other hand, three points would have meant that we’d done the business today.”