Kit Symons was disappointed his side didn’t finish off 10-man Sunderland – but believes the Whites can do the job at home.
The Whites earned a replay on February 3 – and might have spared themselves the trouble had sharpshooting been a lot more deadly even though Hugo Rodallega struck the post in the last four minutes.
Jack Rodwell’s dismissal on 66 minutes left the home side light and the Blacks, pressing forward – but it was not to be.
“After the sending off you’ll never have a better opportunity to beat a Premier League team away from home than today, but we’ll play at Craven Cottage and I fancy us in that now,” Symons said. “Our quality in the final third has been quite good in recent weeks but it wasn’t quite there today. We had a few opportunities, a few openings but our quality wasn’t quite as good as it has been recently, so that was a little bit disappointing.
“But to come to a Premier League side and acquit yourself as we did today, I think we should be very proud. So I’m a little bit disappointed but overall I’m very proud of my players – they put a real shift in for the Club.”
Marcus Bettinelli made two top-drawer saves to deny Jermain Defoe in the second half – but the Fulham manager reckons it was all in a day’s work for a keeper rising in stock by the match.
“It’s a funny one with Betts now because I expect him to do that week in, week out because he’s been tremendous for us, he’s been really, really good,” Symons admitted.
Fulham started by leaving midweek hat-trick hero Ross McCormack on the bench – but there was a very good reason as the gaffer revealed.
“He’s got a little bit of a grumbling Achilles problem and it just made sense to rest him up today, and I expected the game to go like it did,” Symons added.
“It was the plan for us to be very much in the game and to be able to make the subs. The rest of the game plan was to go and win it, so we didn’t quite manage that but it sort of went to plan.
“But I was confident before the game and I’m equally, if not more confident now.”