Holtby dropped so Fulham could ‘fight’

Fulham manager Felix Magath said it was a tactical decision to drop on-loan Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby to the bench for the Whites’ defeat against Chelsea.

The German has arguably been Fulham’s best player since joining from Spurs until the end of the season, but he was dropped in favour of fellow loanee Clint Dempsey, who made his final appearance before returning to Seattle Sounders.

Fulham missed Holtby’s invention and were firmly beaten 3-1, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and in serious relegation trouble.

But Magath said: “The reason [Holtby was dropped] was that we wanted to fight against Chelsea because they have the better players.

“You have to prepare for a game where Chelsea has control over the ball and we have to fight, and I think for 45 minutes it was the right way.

“Lewis is a player who is thinking forward, who is very skilfull and can make good passes, and against Chelsea you will not create many chances – nobody will.”

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