Fulham assistant manager Stuart Gray felt the Whites ‘let two points slip away’ after their goalless draw with Southampton at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Gray, a former Southampton manager, was in joint-charge on the touchline with first team coach Matt Wells after Scott Parker was forced to self-isolate following the news that a member of his family had tested positive for coronavirus. Gray, who spoke to Sky Sports after the final whistle, said he was proud of Fulham’s strong performance against high-flying opposition but believed they could have snatched a late victory:
Very much so. I just spoke to the manager – he’s disappointed that we haven’t got the three points. Some of our play deserved the three points. You could see at the end of the game, the Southampton manager’s reaction – I think they were happy just to get the point. We probably just let ourselves down in the final third with our final ball at the times but the effort, the commitment from the players was fantastic and that’s four games unbeaten now and in the Premier League that’s a big achievement.
Gray feels that Fulham have now adapted to life in the top flight having made a difficult start – and was full of praise for the spirit shown by his players.
Probably just the turnaround and having enough time with the players. They’re all buying into it now, working so hard off the ball to win possession back. Today, the effort and the commitment was fantastic – just that last piece of the jigsaw was putting the ball in the net.
He also felt both Southampton’s goals, ruled out for offside, wouldn’t stand.
They say these things balance themselves over the season, but we were very confident that the lad was offside. You could tell by our defender’s reaction. It is one of these moments. You’re holding your breath thinking, ‘Will it go for you?’ and the fourth official helps, just to let you know the goal hasn’t been awarded.
Gray revealed that Parker had been in constant touch with his two lieutenants as he watched from home – and the Fulham boss should be back in dugout when the Whites travel to Tottenham next Wednesday.
He was on the phone on a regular basis, telling us what he wanted to do regarding the substitutions as well. He’s just spoken to us there in the dressing room and again at half-time, he spoke to the lads as well via the computer.