Fulham’s assistant manager Steve Kean, who has stepped up from assistant boss during the illness which has left Chris Coleman in hospital, revealed Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to rest a string of Manchester United stars gave the Londoners the belief they could shock United again.

The Cottagers won 3-1 at Old Trafford in October and Kean disclosed Ferguson’s decision to leave key men out gave Fulham a boost before both games.

“We were four men out on what we thought their team would be,” said Kean.

“I didn’t think Roy Carroll would play, I thought Giggs and van Nistelrooy would and that they wouldn’t have Roy Keane at the back.

“It gave us a lift when we heard their team, as it did when we saw their side at Old Trafford.

“We said to the lads ‘stick to the game plan and we’ve got a good chance today’.”

Kean claimed Fulham were ‘disappointed’ they did not claim victory after building up a head of steam as full-time neared.

“I thought we could have nicked it at the end as we had the momentum,” he said.

Kean revealed Coleman was due to leave hospital next week.

“I rang the hospital just after the game and spoke to the head nurse as Chris must be resting,” he said.

“He’ll probably have followed the game on the telly.

“I spoke to him this morning and he’s improving all the time. We hope he’ll be out on Monday or Tuesday next week.”

Of the possible penalty Kean said: “Edwin definitely pulled his hands away.

“His momentum took him forward onto his front foot and Louis was waiting for the contact.”