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."
Latest in Sport
Liverpool vs Bolton report: Brilliant Adam Bogdan produces heroics to earn Wanderers a replay
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners