Vulnerable Fulham left deep in the minuses on goal difference following defeat to Southampton

The Saints won 3-0 at Craven Cottage

When Jay Rodriguez scored Southampton’s third at Craven Cottage on Saturday, it took Fulham’s goal difference to minus 31. Since goal difference replaced goal average in 1976, only Wigan in 2010 have survived in top-flight football with a worse figure than Fulham have now.

Roberto Martinez’s side finished 16th despite losing 8-0 at Chelsea and 9-1 at Tottenham and finishing on minus 42. However, given that it is two months since their last clean sheet, a repetition looks beyond Fulham.

The 3-0 defeat saw Meulensteen’s side fall to the foot of the table, evaporating the optimism brought on by a late flurry of transfer activity.

Six players arrived in the last two days of the window, but only Lewis Holtby and William Kvist were registered in time to feature on Saturday. “It was William’s first game in the Premier League,” Meulensteen said. “Lewis is a fantastic footballer and it speaks volumes for them that they’ve chosen to come to Fulham. Hopefully they can help us liven the place up.”

They will need to be quick.