Slaviša Jokanović hailed what could be “a priceless point” as Fulham’s battling qualities earned a 1-1 draw with Reading.
Fans were still taking their seats at the Madejski Stadium when Tomas Kalas was shown a red card for a professional foul, giving the Whites an uphill battle from the outset.
Liam Kelly’s strike looked for a while as though it would be the difference between the sides, but substitute Lucas Piazon netted a fine equaliser in front of the away supporters to earn a deserved point.
“For us it’s a great result in a very complicated situation,” Jokanović stated. “It’s not so easy for us to play with one player less in the game after half a minute.
“The team was very tactful, they defended very well, we all stuck together. 11 against 11 they are a team who has a lot of possession of the ball. They dominated us which is normal but they didn’t create so many opportunities.
“We were organised, and by the end we had played 99 minutes with 10 men. It’s not easy to fix all the problems. They scored a goal but we caught one of their mistakes to equalise the game. It’s a priceless point for us.”
Having a man sent off that early meant Jokanović had to shuffle his pack, with Neeskens Kebano promptly replaced by Denis Odoi – who went on to put in an imperious display at centre-back.
“I had to change many things,” he explained. “We knew it was a long time in front of us to play with 10 men. We tried to organise ourselves a little bit differently, we tried to not give them so much space, we stuck all together.
“It wasn’t easy, but we didn’t plan it. We adapted very well, we showed a great attitude and great character, and after this kind of situation we must be satisfied with one point.
“We didn’t have an opportunity to show our identity, our style, but we showed a different face and I can be satisfied with this face. It wasn’t easy for Lucas Piazon but he finished it very well to bring us this priceless point.”
Tom Cairney was named amongst the substitutes before being withdrawn from contention ahead of kick-off, but his Head Coach hopes to have him available at Elland Road.
“We are going to assess him,” Jokanović said. “He was close to being part of the squad. I was thinking about using him for a short time during the game.
“It wasn’t the plan to start with him, but he will be at a better level for the game we’re going to play on Tuesday night against Leeds.”