Denis Odoi admitted Fulham were far from their best during a tense victory over Sunderland at Craven Cottage last night and hailed Slavisa Jokanovic’s side’s patience and character that ground out a crucial win.
Goals from Lucas Piazon and Aleksandar Mitrovic ensured that the battle for automatic promotion will definitely go down to the final day of the season after Joel Asoro had given Sunderland a shock lead midway through the first half. Odoi told FulhamFCTV after the final whistle that he wasn’t expecting an easy game and that Fulham had to work hard for the three points:
It wasn’t an easy game. We needed to be careful because Sunderland got relegated and they weren’t just going to give us the victory. I think we were a little bit unfortunate with the way they went 1-0 up – I don’t think there was really any danger. I also think we weren’t playing our best game. We just needed to stay calm, have patience and we were lucky to get the goal just before half time.
I think we had it also last week. Millwall started very furious and they came out aggressive. We were a bit lucky that they didn’t get a goal and then in the second half we adapted and we showed everybody the way that we play. It was the same today. Sunderland weren’t as dangerous as Millwall but we needed to stay game and play grown-up football and just trust ourselves and trust our game.
If I was playing for Sunderland, I’m not coming here just to give you the victory – I will fight for every piece of grass and that’s what they did. We didn’t expect any less. They played with a lot of freedom and it was a very tough game.
Odoi will be watching Cardiff’s trip to Hull City with interest after the Whites leapfrogged their promotion rivals by gaining maximum points last night.
That’s the best we could have done and now we are putting pressure on Cardiff again. It’s going to be an interesting game tomorrow. We know from experience that going to Hull isn’t an easy game, but Cardiff are also playing for promotion so they will give it their all. We just hope for the best and if they win tomorrow then we’re going to win next week and hopefully then Reading can help us.