Stoke 4 Fulham 1: Felix Magath accuses Fulham players of lacking fighting spirit after relegation

Manager said it was one of his worst days ever

Fulham boss Felix Magath accused his players of lacking the fight to survive after his club's 10-year stay in the Barclays Premier League came to an end with an abject 4-1 defeat at Stoke.

Goals from Peter Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic, Oussama Assaidi and Jonathan Walters - combined with Sunderland's shock win at Old Trafford - consigned the Cottagers to the drop.

Kieran Richardson's late consolation came too late to save the 60-year-old Magath from experiencing the first relegation of his long, nine-club managerial career.

Magath said: "As you can imagine that is one of the worst days I have ever had.

"I was convinced before the game that we had a very good chance but today was what you would call in Germany a blackout.

"There was no fighting spirit there. I think they felt too much pressure - we cannot run, we cannot pass, we cannot play and we have never been in the game.

"Everybody is down on the bottom and there are some tears but I have to take the responsibility and I apologise not only for today but for not managing the situation because I was convinced we would stay in the league."

Fulham's dismal display was encapsulated by Magath's decision to haul off Lewis Holtby in the 34th minute, with the Cottagers boss reiterating a belief he first aired after the loss to Chelsea in March that the midfielder lacks the stomach for battle.

Magath added: "I think the player (Holtby) is very skilful but he doesn't get any of the ball or fight - there was nothing for him today."

However, Magath went on to insist he was ready to commit himself to trying to haul the club straight back to the top flight next season and would seek immediate talks with owner Shahid Khan.

Asked if he wanted to stay, Magath answered: "Yes, sure.

"We have to talk about the situation. It is one of the worst days I have ever had but I will go on. I will talk about the situation with the owner and we will start to come back."

Former Fulham boss Mark Hughes expressed some sympathy for his former club after consigning them to the drop.

Hughes spent less than 11 months in charge of the Cottagers before resigning in June 2011 admitting he needed a new challenge.

Hughes said: "I've seen a number of people who worked very hard for me when I was at Fulham and obviously they're very upset at the moment.

"You don't like to see people you've worked with go through that but it's an unforgiving league and you have to get the job done which we have and they haven't.

"There are a lot of good people there and a lot of good support staff who helped me so I hope they bounce back quickly."

Hughes expressed satisfaction with the way his side took an immediate stranglehold on the game and made sure to finish a healthy Britannia Stadium campaign on a high.

Hughes added: "It was a difficult game for us because it was deemed a game we didn't have anything to play for but we knew what we wanted to achieve today and that was three points.

"We made it difficult for Fulham once we scored that first goal which was really important. It might have been more difficult if they had got in front but they had to throw people forward to get on level terms and that played into our hands.

"We've built steadily in the second half of the season and finished really well. If we'd got something out of the (Tottenham) game last week we'd have been looking at a perfect end to the season."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future