Fulham manager Roy Hodgson admits that his side are facing an increasingly difficult task to avoid Premier League relegation.
Hodgson saw his side condemn Derby to the drop as a 2-2 draw at Pride Park combined with Birmingham’s victory over Manchester City at St Andrews sent the Rams down.
However, 19th-placed Fulham – who are six points from safety – face their own battle to survive and with six games remaining Hodgson admits time is running out.
Emanuel Villa put Derby in front, but Fulham then fought back through Diomansy Kamara and a 78th minute Hameur Bouazza effort, which deflected in off Dean Leacock.
Villa, though, then netted an 80th minute equaliser for the Rams and Hodgson confesses his frustration as Fulham missed out on their first away win since September 2006.
“It gets harder,” Hodgson told Sky Sports News. “Had we won today we would have faced the final games with more optimism but I’m not losing faith that we can do it.
“I am (frustrated) because when we score a late goal to go 2-1 up in a very tense an terse encounter we were hoping that would be the goal to give us our first away win.
“But of course to concede an equaliser within one minute of the kick-off was a major blow.
“It is very easy to say these things shouldn’t happen, but it is not the first time this has happened in a Fulham match and it probably won’t be the last
“The players know that they mustn’t switch off and have got to be focused. They know the lesson.
“It is just unfortunate that in the heat of the moment that lesson was forgotten.
“We just have to take heart from the fact that we didn’t lose and we have six matches remaining and we must try and win as many of those matches as we can.”