Tomas Kalas has admitted that he found it hard to accept Fulham’s decision not to keep him at the club after he helped them gain promotion.

The 25-year-old Chelsea defender is now on a season-long loan at Bristol City, but played a major part in helping the Whites reach the Premier League last season.

The Czech Republic international formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Tim Ream, but was deemed surplus to requirements in the summer

“If they’d wanted me at Fulham, I would have stayed, but they didn’t,” he told West London Sport.

“It was difficult to swallow. But obviously that’s not the end of my career, and I’d rather get promoted with a team that wants me. It would be quite nice to settle down after eight years of being abroad, but not spending longer than two years at one place.

“I obviously wanted to stay there, because that would be a step forward in my career and I would have been in a club that I’ve spent two years with.

“But I wasn’t getting my hopes up too high because exactly the same thing happened with Middlesbrough two years before. We got promoted and I loved the club and nothing happened afterwards.

“I was so loyal to Fulham. They knew I wanted to stay and nothing happened. They spent, I don’t know how much money, on new defenders.”

And given the woeful consequences of a much-changed defensive line-up at the Cottage this season, that decision looks even more perplexing with Fulham having lost seven of their 10 league games so far.

“Fulham are not doing well, but nowhere is it written that if I had been there, they would be doing OK,” Kalas added.

“I can’t predict that or see what would have happened, so it would be a bit unfair. I still support them and hope they will get out of the situation that they’re in now.”