Parker rues VAR decision but is convinced Fulham will stay up

Scott Parker says he accepts the decision to rule out Josh Maja’s goal in Fulham’s 1-0 home defeat by Spurs, but fears VAR is damaging the soul of the game.

Maja looked to have equalised when he finished smartly inside the box midway through the second half, but VAR showed the ball struck Maria Lemina on the arm in the build up to the goal and it was ruled out.

The defeat is potentially hugely damaging for Parker’s side, who dominated much of the second half and now face a trip to champions Liverpool on Sunday followed by a visit from runaway leaders Manchester City next Saturday.

“I understand the decision but I don’t agree with the rule,” Parker said.

“If it doesn’t hit (Lamina’s) arm it hits his side. But I am not complaining about that, the referee has acted to the law.

“We are trying to make the game so pure, so sterile and we trying to control every single phase of the game and that is where the problem lies for me.

“What do we want to see as spectators, goals? excitement? Well, I am sorry to say VAR is killing every bit of that.”

Fourth-from-bottom Newcastle face fellow strugglers West Brom at noon on Sunday and should the Magpies win at The Hawthorns, Fulham could find themselves six points from safety when they kick-off at Anfield at 2pm – having played one game more.

Despite that, Parker remains confident his side’s positive recent displays will eventually be rewarded with the wins to haul them to safety.

“I honestly think and believe we will be alright,” he said.

“We played against a fantastic team and a top football club – and I think if you were watching that game tonight and didn’t know much about the game you would never have guessed where the two teams are on the table.

“I have a constant belief we will get the results and we need to maintain that.”