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Fulham boss Chris Coleman was unhappy with the penalty awarded against Fulham in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa – but praised his side’s fighting qualities.

Even Villa manager Martin O’Neill felt the Cottagers were harshly dealt with when referee Chris Foy alleged Liam Rosenior had fouled Stiliyan Petrov.

But a goal on the stroke of half-time from former Arsenal player Moritz Volz means Fulham have been beaten only once on their travels this season – a stark contrast to their away form last term.

Coleman said: “It was a soft, soft penalty. It was clever play by Petrov. Rosenior holds his arms up because he doesn’t want to make any contact but Petrov dangles his leg out at Liam knowing there is going to be contact.

“It was not a penalty. We were disappointed with that decision. We saw stronger challenges than that throughout the game and nothing happened.

“It must have been a difficult decision for the referee to make in front of the Holt End and the screaming Villa fans.”

Coleman was happy with the way his injury-hit side refused to buckle against unbeaten Villa.

He said: “This was a difficult place for us to come with key players missing but the lads were fantastic. We came back very well.

“It wasn’t pretty at times. We made it as difficult as we could for Villa. They are flying at the moment and have had a new lease of life.

“But we kept chipping away at them and Villa never looked settled, which is a compliment to us.”