Fulham 1 Everton 3: Felix Magath defiant, stressing Fulham survival attempts aren't over until they're relegated
Magath says he is not yet planning for the Championship despite Cottagers propping up the table
Monday 31 March 2014
Felix Magath insists Fulham's best performance of his brief reign as manager has strengthened his belief they can escape relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
The Cottagers succumbed 3-1 to Everton to leave them five points adrift of safety, propping up the table with only six games left to secure a 14th season of top flight football.
But it was only in the closing stages of the match that the Champions League-chasing Toffees pulled clear thanks to strikes from substitutes Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith.
Magath took enough positives from his seventh game in charge to be confident Fulham can survive.
"It was a very important game and it's very disappointing that we lost," Magath said.
"But if you see how we played, it gives you another view. It was our best game. We created a lot of chances, but we didn't score enough goals.
"I'm not planning for the Championship now, we will try again next weekend.
"I know that we can still make it because Everton are one of the best teams at the moment but we didn't play like a relegated team against them."
There was a large slice of fortune about Everton's 50th minute opener as goalkeeper David Stockdale unwittingly deflected the ball into his own net.
Fulham rallied with an outstanding strike from Ashkan Dejagah, only to be overwhelmed soon after claiming the equaliser.
The win keeps Everton in contention for the fourth Champions League spot with boss Roberto Martinez predicting the race will be decided on the final day of the season.
The Toffees know that if they win all of their remaining seven matches - starting with Sunday's clash against Arsenal at Goodison - they will finish in fourth.
A triumphant sequence spanning five successive Premier League games has transformed them into genuine contenders for Europe, but Martinez insisted the competition is fierce.
"Being in this position gives us an understanding of what a good season we've had," Martinez said.
"With the points we have we have a realistic chance to fight for that aim (Champions League).
"I'm not saying we're going to get that because we admire Arsenal because they get in the Champions League consistently.
"They have developed a real understanding what to do in these games, so that makes Sunday a phenomenal challenge.
"It will probably go down to the last game of the season."
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