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Coleman gets it wrong

last updated Sunday 03rd December 2006, 8:28 AM

Chris ColemanFulham looked nothing like the side which defeated Arsenal in midweek, as they went down 2-0 at Blackburn. The Cottagers boss Chris Coleman stated: 'I hold my hands up. I changed the shape of the team and that never worked.

'We were tired. It was a fantastic performance in midweek but very taxing. But we should have closed ranks if we were tired and denied Blackburn.

'We were slow and sluggish in the first half. We did not defend like we should.

'When you give away a goal early on it is very difficult but the second goal was offside.

'It has been a stop-start season and I do not like that. We are on 20 points and that is fine but we play well one week and not the next.'

Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi will be out for up to a month after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.

Niemi was replaced by Jan Lastuvka for the visit to Blackburn and Coleman said: 'Antti needed a small operation.

'He had a little bit of cartilage floating around. He should back in three weeks to a month.'

Lastuvka, on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk, certainly had a baptism of fire in his first Premiership start as Blackburn secured their first win in seven league games.

Coleman thought the Czech Republic stopper acquitted himself well.

He said: 'It was difficult for him to come in today and obviously he was nervous but overall I thought he was okay.'

Nonda made the breakthrough in the sixth minute when Stephane Henchoz launched the ball forward. Zat Knight allowed him to turn and fire a shot beyond the stranded Lastuvka.

McCarthy extended the lead with his first goal since October, his effort coming off Fulham defender Ian Pearce.

Manager Mark HughesManager Mark Hughes was delighted at his team regaining a winning mentality in the league after progressing in the UEFA Cup.

He said: 'We took a foothold early in the game and that was important.

'There was real determination in the guys prior to the game. They understood how important it was to get a victory.

'I could see that straight from the off and we got the goals at good times.

'We were never in any danger of losing the game and in fact given the chances we created the result should have been more comprehensive.

'It was a good performance and some of our play in the first half was excellent.

'There was good tempo to everything we did and I am very pleased.'

It was only Nonda's second goal of the season following his loan move from Roma and Hughes added: 'It was a good finish and I'm pleased for him.

'It was possibly playing on his mind he hadn't scored for a while.

'He has got goals throughout his career, no matter where he has been. He played well today alongside Benni.'

Source soccernet
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