Roy Hodgson admitted Fulham’s 1-0 defeat by Hull was the worst possible preparation for Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United.

Manucho tucked home Richard Garcia’s cross two minutes into injury time to give Hull’s Barclays Premier League survival bid a crucial shot in the arm.

The goal was hard for Fulham to accept given that they controlled the match, squandering a host of chances through Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Simon Davies.

Hodgson felt the loss was hard on his side.

“The manner of the defeat, coming in the 92nd minute with one of Hull’s rare attacks, is hard to take.

“Over the 90 minutes it was not a bad performance and it certainly did not warrant a 1-0 defeat.

“It was certainly a bit of a sucker punch – I think Hull would have been delighted with 0-0. I would be surprised if they thought they were worth all three points.” 

The Cottagers host United in the sixth round of the FA Cup on Saturday and Hodgson conceded he faces a challenge to raise morale.

“Of course the team will now need lifting for United,” said the former Inter Milan coach.

“There’s no worse way to lose a game than to play well, stare at a 0-0 draw when you think we should have scored and then to lose in the 92nd minute.

“You couldn’t write a worse scenario for a player or coach than that. This is the ultimate football nightmare that you have to live through.”