Defeat ‘hard to take’ for new Fulham boss

Rene Meulensteen insisted Fulham should take heart from their performance against Tottenham despite the bitter disappointment of another defeat.

Lewis Holtby’s late winner meant a sixth loss in a row for the much-improved Whites, who looked to be heading for victory in Meulensteen’s first match in charge after Ashkan Dejagah’s second-half goal.

But Spurs hit back and the new boss was left to console his players, who produced an excellent display.

“It’s very, very, very hard to take,” the Dutchman admitted.

Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham
Berbatov was superb for Fulham.

“Fulham is going through a tough time, everyone knows that, but the most important thing is that I wanted an inspired and disciplined performance and we got that.

“It got us to the point where we were on top and winning and that first goal from Tottenham fell out of the sky really.

“I think the players responded well after that and again after another great strike from Holtby – even after that we kept going.

“I said to the players that no way did they deserve to lose that game. We have to swallow this bitter pill and just get back on the training ground.

“We lost the game, but we wanted to produce an inspired performance that the fans wanted and we did that.”

Meulensteen made seven changes to the Fulham starting line-up, with Dimitar Berbatov among those recalled.

The former Spurs striker, keen to move in January according his agent, was outstanding up front and set up Dejagah’s goal with a wonderful pass.

Meulensteen said: “I thought he was unbelievable. I know really well what’s he’s capable of.

“The most important thing is that we have to focus from game to game all the way up to January.

“I’ve had good chats with Dimitar and he’s a player who really cares about this club and that was evident tonight.”



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