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Rufus Brevett hails Fulham fighting spirit

last updated Monday 18th November 2002, 11:46 PM
Fulham defender Rufus Brevett says The Cottagers have to learn not to be provoked by their opponents.

Fulham ended Sunday's goalless encounter at St Andrews with only nine men after Robbie Savage's aggressive style led to frayed tempers.

Brevett was sent off in the 37th minute for handling the ball on his goal-line but striker Steve Marlet was also shown a red card 12 minutes from the end for kicking Welsh midfielder Savage.

Fulham defender Rufus Brevett
Fulham defender Rufus Brevett
The France international lashed out after a crude challenge from the Birmingham player - who was only cautioned - and Brevett knows it could have proved costly.

He said: "I saw Steve's sendingoff but that sort of thing is no surprise when Savage is involved. He tackled Steve from behind and Marlet got up and kicked him. It was retaliation, and the referee had to send him off.

"But that is what happens with Savage. He winds you up, and you just cannot react - but it is easier said than done.

Marlet said he had no argument with his sending-off but was surprised Savage was not ordered off too, particularly after referee Matt Messias told them both they would only be cautioned.

Brevett was shown a red card in the first half for handling a goalbound Darren Purse header, but goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar pushed away the resulting weak penalty from Stern John, and former Fulham striker Geoff Horsfield put the rebound wide.

The point ended a four-game losing run in the league and Fulham players are hoping it will prove to be a turning point.

Brevett said: "It was a great point from a mad game, and showed that we are all together as a team.

"The game boosted us for the Liverpool match on Saturday because we got a point with nine men. Our confidence is still high."

Source Evening Standard by Leo Spall
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