Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has spoken of his extreme disappointment after his side lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Hodgson’s visitors had led through a fourth minute Zoltan Gera goal, and looked like they were set to secure a famous victory over their London rivals, which would have added to their recent win over champions Manchester United.
However, a Didier Drogba header and a Chris Smalling own goal in the space of two second half minutes turned the game on its head with fifteen minutes to go – inflicting Fulham’s first defeat in nine matches. Hodgson was adamant his side deserved at least a point.
“It is very disappointing to put in such a great performance and have nothing to show for it. It would have been nice to have gone away with a least a point – we pushed Chelsea right to the limit and we can consider ourselves very unlucky to lose the game.”
He refused to blame Smalling despite the youngster’s decisive own goal.
He could do nothing about it. I thought his performance was really outstanding, he had a magnificent game. The own goal, which will go down to his name, was one of those goals that is like when the ball hits the post and rebounds off goalkeepers. There is not much you can do. For Chris Smalling to be thrown in at the deep end, with little notice and no chance to work with him, I thought he did exceptionally well”
The Fulham boss saw plenty of positives from his side’s display.
“The other positives were things I’m beginning to expect from this team. They do not let me down, they do not let the club down and they do it week after week. No matter who the opponent, we work very hard, keep a good shape and keep our discipline.”