LONDON, March 20 ― Fulham boss Scott Parker made no attempt to sugarcoat his disappointment at his side's failure to escape the Premier League's bottom three after a 2-1 home defeat by Leeds United today.
The London club would have climbed above Newcastle United into 17th spot with a win but they produced a stuttering display and the opportunity passed them by as they suffered a 10th home defeat of the season.
Fulham remain two points behind Newcastle but crucially they have played two more games and have only eight games left to save themselves from an immediate return to the Championship.
“Disappointed tonight, we didn't deserve anything from the game and the best team won,” Parker said.
“We huffed and puffed and were probably fortunate to go in at 1-1. We have a massive chance just before they scored but the best team won tonight.”
When Joachim Andersen equalised for Fulham after Patrick Bamford had put Leeds in front it seemed that Parker's side might claim a vital victory.
But Raphinha's second-half goal, shortly after Ademola Lookman fluffed a glorious chance for Fulham, sealed their fate.
Parker admitted they had failed to contain a Leeds side who have impressed with their expansive style this season.
“The way Leeds play they make it end to end, they want it like a basketball match. We spoke about cool heads in those moments but we struggled with that at times,” he said.
“The game became too erratic and you're playing a team that want the game to be like that, they're the best at it. Under stress you need to make good decisions and we didn't do that.”
While Fulham's position looks precarious, they were 10 points adrift in February and have since clawed their way back to within sight of pulling off a great escape thanks to notable wins like one away to Liverpool.
“We've got eight games, eight finals. We've put ourselves in a great position,” he said. “Very disappointed with tonight but this is a little blip. We regroup and come back fighting like we have for the rest of the year.
“We're at the point where it's the final hurdle, the home straight. We need to win some games.”
Newcastle are away to 16th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion today. ― Reuters