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Fulham manager Chris Coleman blamed his defence for their 3-1 loss at St James’ Park to Newcastle, but predictably most of the questioning surrounded Louis Saha’s future.

Coleman says the Frenchman is a medical away from completing his protracted move to Old Trafford, but added the absence of his striker had nothing to do with his side’s inept performance to deal with crosses into the box.

“The game was lost because of poor defending,” Coleman said.

“In the last few games we just haven’t been able to defend crosses and set pieces. The defence was very poor.

“Lots of people say the system I play is very defensive but if you look at our goals scored record it’s Champions League form, but out goals conceded is relegation form.”

Fulham lacked spark up front and inevitably the Welshman was drawn on Saha’s absence but the Cottagers boss refused to use Saha as an exuces for the way his side played.

“It would be easy for us to use Saha as an excuse but he wasn’t playing at the back where we lost the game,” he added.

“Our defence was poor which was nothing to do with Saha.”

Asked how close Saha was to securing a deal, Coleman added: “Louis has had a medical today and will have one tomorrow and then he should sign for Manchester United.

“I didn’t want to sell him but the chairman and chief executive gave me their reasons. It’s a business decision and I will go along with that and get on with it.

“We’re going back to Craven Cottage soon which will cost money, but I don’t think you can accuse the chairman (Mohamed Al-Fayed) of not putting his hand in his pocket as he has ploughed well over £100 million into this club.

“The chairman thought it was time to draw a line under this. I’m not angry – that’s football. I think we just got to the stage where we had enough of the situation.

“But we’re not just a one-man team. I have a great squad here with a great atmosphere and hopefully we will see the final product on the pitch soon.”