Martin Jol was understandably disappointed after seeing his side concede a stoppage-time equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion.
Steve Sidwell put the Whites in front, before Fulham saw three efforts disallowed for offside. And the lack of a second goal came back to haunt the hosts when Gareth McAuley powered home a header in the second minute of six minutes of added time.
“If you soak up pressure in the last 10 or 15 minutes, it’s always possible to concede a goal,” said Jol afterwards. “If you’ve only scored one goal, you need another one or they smell blood.
“But saying that, I haven’t experienced three offside goals in one game. The second one from Dimitar Berbatov wasn’t offside and then Bryan Ruiz probably should have scored when he hit the bar. So we were a bit unfortunate not to score a second as then the game would have been over.
“They added six minutes of time and we were tired. Then the corner kick was not a special one, he hit it with his laces and we didn’t attack the ball which was disappointing.”
Boos could be heard from a small section of home fans at the final whistle but Jol said: “Some times it can be a force of habit. If we’d have been bottom of the league I would have understood it but we’re 12th and we should have had six points. So that was disappointing to hear but I always say to the players that it’s very hard to fight expectations; expectations can make you very unhappy.
“It’s not a big problem, with the quality we’ve got and players coming back… we’re not bottom of the league with zero points. What can I do? It’s a small minority.”
Jol had several injury absentees for the match but was pleased with the players that came into his starting XI, singling out Pajtim Kasami for particular praise.
He continued: “I don’t think we missed anybody. We played better than before. Kasami did very well and we did okay. We looked a bit tired at the end but for a lot of players it was a third game in seven days.”
To add to his problems, however, Bryan Ruiz will seek further advice on an ankle injury suffered late on, while Berbatov came off as a precaution after complaining of a hamstring strain.
“Ruiz’s injury looked quite serious,” confirmed Jol. “We’ll have to scan him and wait and see what the problem is. I think it’s his ankle. Berbatov had a hamstring. I don’t think it’s serious. He gave us a signal that he wanted to be substituted and hopefully it was just in time.”