Mark Schwarzer has urged his Fulham team-mates to cast aside their disappointment at losing in Rome and focus on getting back to winning ways at Wigan on Sunday.
Roy Hodgson’s side had led 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico before Erik Nevland was controversially sent off early in the second half and Roma came back to win 2-1 and leapfrog Fulham in the group. The Cottagers’ woes were compounded when Paul Konchesky was harshly red carded in stoppage time.
Schwarzer doesn’t think that the defeat should overly affect Fulham’s approach to Sunday’s clash at the DW Stadium.
I don’t think it will affect the team. We’ve had a very good run the last couple of weeks and decisions against Roma were made that were out of our hands.
Now we must recover as much as possible and prepare for Sunday’s game at Wigan, which will be tough. The key to it will be to recover as much as possible. It’s a long trip there (from Rome) and it is a hard game.
We played with 10 men for most of the second half and we just need to make sure we recover in time for Sunday’s game. Wigan have had a bit of an up-and-down season so far but it’s early, they have some good players and they have our respect. It’s going to be a tough game for us.
Schwarzer was disappointed that Dutch referee Kevin Blom decided to dismiss Nevland.
One crucial decision was made and it killed the game. It destroyed it.
It was a bad decision but that’s how it goes. If you send a player off early in the second half against a team like Roma, it’s going to be an uphill battle from then on and the rest is history. We felt that in the last few games we have been hard done by the referees’ decisions.
The Australian international didn’t exempt himself from criticism either – believing he probably should have saved Stefano Okaka Chuka’s winning header.
It’s disappointing. There was little I could do in the first goal but the second one I felt should have probably done better, I should have saved it. We were a bit unlucky.
He certainly isn’t writing off Fulham’s chances of progressing, though.
We are still in with a chance. We are still confident that we can make it. There are two games remaining in the group and we will do our best to progress.
There was certainly plenty to proud of in Fulham’s performance.
Roy Hodgson didn’t say much at half-time because there was very little to say. We played well, we had much of the control of the game and passed around, opened Roma up quite a lot. We were very well organised.