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Fulham 2 Middlesbrough 1 - Post Match Comment

last updated Saturday 12th January 2002, 7:52 PM
Fulham assistant manager Christian Damiano claimed his side could have dished out a thrashing if they had enjoyed better luck in front of goal.

He said: "It was a difficult start and an unfortunate goal. But we reacted well - and then in the second half we were strong and could have scored more.

"We were delighted with the strikers. We had chances as soon as Louis came on. He was important - and Marlet is back after a long injury and in good form.

"He has a good heading ability and has progressed very well in each game since his return.

"We were unlucky to miss some good chances - and we also had another big difficulty with the pitch. It was hard to put speed into the game."

Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren shrugged off worries over his side's impending four-month battle to save their top-flight status.

Boro created precious few chances and tumbled to a deserved 2-1 defeat leaving themselves just a point above basement trio Leicester, Derby and Ipswich.

The Alen Boksic-less Teessiders were desperately short of attacking invention at Craven Cottage - and they will need the Croatian striker to be firing on all cylinders when he makes his comeback from a calf strain.

McClaren took heart from his team's battling second-half showing.

"We never really looked like conceding a goal in the first half, apart from those five minutes of madness just before half-time," he said.

"We lost concentration and gave a silly free-kick away. We should have closed the game down just before the break - and but for that I think we would have got something this afternoon.

"In the second half I couldn't ask any more of the players. We blocked balls on the line and defended magnificently. You can't ask any more of players than that.

"Their attitude, determination and quality were excellent and they are very disappointed not to come away with anything. That's a platform - and if the players work that hard and perform with the same application as they did today results will follow.

"Five of our last six games have been away - and they were very, very tough. Now we've got a period of home games coming up - and we've got to be winning at home."
Source Sporting Life

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