Fulham boss Chris Coleman was full of praise for his players after watching them secure a late leveller in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
Carlos Bocanegra struck six minutes from time to earn his side a well deserved point against a Chelsea side that has struggled to find its best form over a congested festive period.
Fulham persistently put Chelsea’s makeshift back four under pressure and Coleman was quick to drill into his players before the game the idea that they were facing a side lacking confidence.
“We knew it would be tough and it was. But we also knew that the result Chelsea had against Reading – a 2-2 draw – meant that the longer we stayed in the game with a goal in it, we always had a chance,” said Coleman.
“Once Chelsea go one goal up, it is very difficult to get back into the game because they are such a good team.
“But we felt their confidence was knocked after the Reading game and they are missing a key player in captain John Terry. He would be a loss for any team.
“They have two goalkeepers out and no Arjen Robben and Joe Cole. Everybody talks about Chelsea’s squad but those players are main players and they have not got them.
“We thought if there was a goal in it in the last 15 or 20 minutes they would get nervous and they did.
“We looked as though we would score and even snatch a winner. Chelsea have still got great players and are a great team but they are just having one of those periods where they are a bit shaky because they are missing certain players.”
Whilst willing to concede Chelsea were far from at their best, Coleman is still firmly of the opinion that the race for the title will go to the wire.
“They will come through it. People might say it is Manchester United’s title now because the gap is six points but there is still a long way to go, Jose knows that.”