Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was disappointed not to have been able to give owner Mohamed Al Fayed a first away league victory with which to celebrate his 76th birthday, and secure the rewards that might have spent in the transfer market.

He said: “It’s the chairman’s birthday today and we were rather hoping we could give him a nice birthday present.

“But unfortunately, we weren’t able to do so, so it might not be the right time to ask him for money.”

However, Hodgson has few complaints about the result.

Despite Fulham’s inability to sustain their first-half superiority he said. “I think it was quite a good performance,”. “I think we showed we have enough quality in the team to stay up.

He said: “I don’t have any complaints about the result as such. I don’t think I could sit here and say we were robbed in any way.

“We always knew the first goal would be decisive. Perhaps we deserved more and on other night we would have won.

“The away record is a concern. No one is safe but we showed we have the quality and work-rate to survive.

“It took us a long while to win one last season and then we won three of our last four away games.” “Maybe the boys are just keeping me on a knife-edge like last season.”

“It’s very tight. Yet I don’t think there is any point putting the black cap on and going all doom and gloom after a defeat or, after a win, talking about the UEFA Cup.

“I’ve just never known a season like it.”