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Coleman blasts poor performance

last updated Thursday 21st September 2006, 6:50 AM

Fulham boss Chris Coleman was forced to field a weakened team for the second-round clash, partly as a result of the club's mounting injury problems.

But the former Wales international had stated the side should be strong enough to knock out Wycombe and he blasted tonight's lacklustre first-half display.

'It was a poor display from us in the first 45 minutes,' he said.

'At half time some of the lads looked like they were on the night shift when they really wanted to be on the afternoon shift on Saturday.

'We need to get that first half out of our system. It was different in the second half and we scored early doors.

'After that they got a lot of men behind the ball and made it difficult for us.'

Fulham's injury woes increased when Bocanegra limped off in the second half with Coleman revealing the USA defender had been earmarked for the midfield in Saturday's Barclays Premiership clash with Chelsea.

'Unfortunately Carlos Bocanegra came off with a sore groin. I didn't want to play him tonight because of a lack of bodies for Saturday but we had no option,' he said.

'Now we don't know if he's going to be available for Saturday. He played in midfield for us against Tottenham and did a wonderful job.

'He was tired tonight and we were debating whether or not to play him. But we had to put some experience on the pitch. We hope and pray it's not too serious.

'If he's not fit for Saturday then we don't have many people to choose for in midfield.'

Wycombe boss Paul Lambert hailed his giantkillers after Fulham were sent tumbling out of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage.

Jermaine Easter rifled home the opener in the eighth minute before skipper Tommy Mooney doubled the score from the spot shortly before half time.

Heidar Helguson reduced the deficit a minute after interval with Fulham creating enough chances to snatch the tie but League Two leaders Wycombe could not be denied.

Lambert said: 'I thought we had a chance. My lads may only be in League Two but they're still top players.

'Fulham are a Premiership team with a superb stadium but the lads stepped up to the plate.

'Fulham had some big names in the team even if they rested a few. But it doesn't matter who they picked - it's still a massive result for us.

'Half time came as a reprieve for us. We started slowly and they scored their goal, putting us under pressure.

'But we stopped the pressure and found our feet again.'

Easter was the inspiration behind Wycombe's shock triumph with his dynamic running a constant threat to Fulham's defence and it was the 24-year-old who won the penalty after being hacked down by Carlos Bocanegra.

Lambert said: 'Jermaine is unbelievable. He's playing so much high-quality football and he's a danger every time he gets the ball.

'His goal ratio is excellent. He's been brilliant for us and his enthusiasm is superb. He never stops running.'







Source Soccernet
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