Martin Jol was frustrated with the manner in which Fulham conceded the crucial first two goals in Tuesday evening’s Capital One Cup defeat at Leicester City.
The Whites had taken the lead through Hugo Rodallega’s finish, but two goals in quick succession saw City go into the break in front. The first came after goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg couldn’t hold a fierce free-kick, and the second arrived when Philippe Senderos’ attempted clearance fell kindly for Chris Wood who did the rest.
“The keeper should keep that ball in his hands,” Jol stressed. “And the second goal, Philippe Senderos tried to play it out in a very awkward way – he shouldn’t do that, especially away [from home]. Don’t concede goals, that is what we always say.
“Maarten Stekelenburg couldn’t hold the ball and for the second goal Philippe Senderos played it into their feet and they scored two goals and that was a hammer blow. I thought the spirit before the game and during the game was really good, but we gave cheap goals away.”
The Foxes extended their advantage shortly after the interval but a header from Rodallega and a fine Giorgos Karagounis free-kick drew Fulham level, only for a last-gasp Lloyd Dyer strike to knock the Whites out of the competition.
“We came back from 3-1 down in the second half and scored two goals away from home against a good team,” Jol said. “We controlled the game again in the second half – we did everything we could to create chances.
“We should have scored earlier but then we scored the third goal and I thought we’d really go for it and score the winner but it wasn’t to be. They scored the winner; we had three players at the back, they had two up front and we should have closed that gap but [Elsad] Zverotić didn’t do that so they scored the winning goal.
“It happens in football – they were eager, they’re a very ambitious team, they were at home, we smelled blood [at 3-3] but they scored.”
Jol made nine changes from the side that were well beaten at Southampton three days ago, and the Fulham boss was pleased with how several members of his side performed at the King Power Stadium.
“I thought we had a few good players,” he said. “I thought in midfield we had a couple of good players and I had a good bench because I knew it could be difficult and that Darren Bent could make a difference and Bryan Ruiz showed that he can make a difference, so the scenario was okay.
“We had a few players who came in. Giorgos is a hero for me; he came in and worked his socks off and scored the third goal. Of course we’ve got other players who will come in again who were rested or injured. We had four or five players who were injured and we couldn’t play them so we had to change the team and I trust them and I need to trust them and I want to trust them, so that was not the problem because I really thought we had a good team out.”
Rodallega was a real threat during the match – as he showed with his two goals – but he suffered awful luck when he pulled a muscle stretching to reach a Ruiz pass.And Jol confirmed that the striker could be out of action for the immediate future: “Hugo has a groin injury so he could have a problem in the next couple of weeks,” he stated.