Fulham boss Felix Magath has revealed he dropped Lewis Holtby against Chelsea because his fellow German is not battle hardened.

Holtby was not selected in the team that went down 3-1 to Jose Mourinho’s side at Craven Cottage.

The creative Holtby was eventually summoned from the bench just after the hour mark.

However, the Cottagers manager said he could recall the midfielder, who he sent out on loan when he was at Schalke, for Saturday’s relegation battle at Cardiff.

Magath, who has got one point from his first two games, said: “I can only repeat that now is not the time to play very well, now is the time to fight. Holtby is not a fighter. He is very smart, skilful, offensive player with very good passes.

However, despite the publicly forthright assessment of the German, Magath has claimed that he and the on-loan Spurs midfielder are “fine”.

He added: “Everything is fine. We are not in a normal situation.

“He reacted very well to not playing. He was one of the most eager players in the last days in training.

“The game against Chelsea, the best team in the league, we have not much space to create chances and therefore he was out for that game. Saturday is another game.”