Tom Cairney felt he was harshly treated during Fulham’s 1-0 defeat at Birmingham after he was the victim of rough tactics by Blues players.

The Whites received three free kicks in the space of five minutes after the midfielder was fouled; two resulting in yellow cards as the midfielder was away.

There were also a number of occasions where Cairney was fouled but was able to shoulder the tackle and maintain his charge forward.

The 26-year-old was visibly frustrated as this continued and he is not sure if Birmingham boss Gianfranco Zola had told his side to stop him by fair means or foul.

He said: “I think I got fouled about 10 times in the space of five minutes. I was away sometimes and I got caught. I wish it’d even up.

“I don’t know if they were instructions from Zola but I felt I got fouled a lot today.”

Despite the home side’s physical tactics it was Fulham who ended the game with 10 men after Ryan Fredericks saw red for a foul on Craig Gardner.

The dismissal changed the game with Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring the winning goal soon after.

Cairney added: “I think the sending off changed the game. If we’d kept 11 on the pitch, I’d have fancied us to win it.

“It’s one of those things. They needed a win massively and sometimes those things help you.”

On the red card, Cairney said: “I think it’s one where if it’s against you you want a red and if it’s your team, you want a yellow.