Alan Pardew may wonder if he has run over a black cat this season after his recent experiences, but he still remained philosophical and dry-humoured last night after seeing Fulham wreck his hopes of a debut triumph with Charlton Athletic.
Pardew, sacked by West Ham United earlier this month and then installed as Charlton's new manager on Christmas Eve, also confirmed that he hoped to clinch a deal today to sign the former Hearts captain Steven Pressley, adding steel and resolve to the Charlton defence.
He said he was pleased with the support from the crowd. "I feel for them, though," he said. "Some of them must have gone home already thinking we'd won when that last goal went in - and after seeing a replay of it I must say I am very, very disappointed with the decision. Djimi Traoré is a very honest player and it is clear it was not handball."
Referee Graham Poll, who left the field to a crescendo of boos, gave a free-kick against Traoré after a linesman flagged for a handling offence that video replays proved did not happen. From the free-kick, taken by Michael Brown, Hermann Hreidarsson headed the ball off his defensive partner Talal El Karkouri and it fell kindly for Franck Queudrue to drill an angled shot beyond Scott Carson.
"Djimi did not touch the ball with his hand, but that is how it can go," said Pardew. He added: "I feel that it is a point gained and that we have got something to build on. We can step forward from here."
He said he was an admirer of Pressley because "he is a leader and we are at a point where we need character and leadership even though we have got some great centre-halves here at this club".
Pardew had only one and a half hours of training with the players on Boxing Day and a brief spell yesterday morning. "We can't do too much now on the training ground because of the fixture list - we don't everyone getting leggy," he said.
The Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, said: "It wasn't a free-kick for us in the end, but the big fellow upstairs was looking down on us in the last minute. Some you get and some you don't. That's football."Reuse content