Adel Taarabt was left gutted after an 89th-minute strike from Lloyd Dyer condemned Fulham to defeat in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening.
Having initially taken the lead, the Whites found themselves 3-1 down to Leicester City only to storm back with two goals before Dyer’s heartbreaking winner, and Taarabt was frustrated that Fulham were unable to control the game having opened the scoring.
“We were 3-1 down and I think we did so well to come back to 3-3,” he told fulhamfc.com. “But then 30 seconds or a minute after we equalised, we concede another goal.
“If it had gone to extra-time then I think we would have won the game, but that’s football for you. We should have killed them once we scored the first goal but we stopped playing when we really should have scored a second and a third goal to kill the game.”
The Foxes proved to be worthy opponents at the King Power Stadium and, with Nigel Pearson’s men flying high in the Sky Bet Championship, Taarabt admitted Leicester would have gone into the match with real optimism.
“They had nothing to lose because they came up against a Premier League team and they don’t have the opportunity to do that every weekend,” Adel explained. “So it was a chance for them to show that they can fight against a Premier League side and that’s what they did and they won so it was unlucky for us but good for them.
“Of course when you play a Championship side they always look forward to playing against a Premier League team so for them it’s like a Champions League game. They are doing well and they are full of confidence as they’re in the top two in the Championship.”
A major plus from the tie was Taarabt’s return to action as he made his first appearance for a month, and the Morocco international showed plenty of glimpses of what Fulham fans can come to expect and enjoy when he’s back at full fitness.
“For me it was a good game to have 90 minutes,” he admitted. “Although obviously I would have loved to win because it was the Quarter-Finals after so we’re all disappointed but we have to recover from this quickly for the weekend.
“It was nice to play the whole game because I didn’t think I would play 90 minutes but I felt good after the game and I think I would have been fine to play extra-time too because all three substitutions had been made. For me, it’s good because for one month I had pain in my ankle and now I can take the positives from playing 90 minutes.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Whites with Manchester United visiting the Cottage on Saturday before a trip to Anfield seven days later, but Taarabt wants to see his side embrace these big fixtures and go all out to secure as many points as possible.
“We’ve got two big games now against Man United and Liverpool and we have to do everything we can to try and get points,” he said. “Obviously Man United is a very hard game but we’re at home and we have to look forward to getting points off good teams.