Magath rues 'problem of the mind' after Fulham collapse

Late goals from Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long saw the Cottagers surrender a two-goal lead and be held to a draw which leaves them mired in relegation trouble
By Liam Twomey at Craven Cottage

A dejected Felix Magath bemoaned psychological problems after witnessing his Fulham side throw away a two-goal lead and a vital win against Hull City at Craven Cottage.

The home side roared out of the traps for the second half and looked set to climb out of the Premier League's bottom three after goals from substitute Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta gave them a sizable lead.

But an opportunistic strike from Nikica Jelavic on 75 minutes raised the tension at Craven Cottage and Shane Long broke Fulham hearts with an 87th-minute equaliser which keeps them mired in the relegation zone.

And after the match Magath, visibly downbeat as he addressed the media, suggested mental weakness was responsible for his team's collapse.

"It was very disappointing how the second half went," he admitted. "Things went as we hoped and we had the 0-0 at half-time which wasn’t bad, and then we wanted to go more forward and take more situations, and it worked very well.

"We scored twice and and it seemed as if everything was alright, but unfortunately we are taking more or less an own goal, and that brought pressure for us.

"It is not a problem of physical ability, it is a problem of the mind. They were well in the second half, things were good and now we have to take the result from today and stand up for Stoke and try to win.

"A victory would have pushed us to the next game, but we have to take the situation as it is; to stand up and show we can play as well away as at home."

Hull City boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, heralded the comeback as further evidence of the qualities which have all but led his team to Premier League safety and set up an FA Cup final date with Arsenal at Wembley next month.

"We thought it wasn’t going to be our day - we hit the bar twice, we hit the post - but there’s a reason why we’re 13th and in a cup final, and you witnessed it again. They just don’t give up. They kept going and rightly got their rewards.

"If we hadn’t have got [a draw] we might still have been in [the relegation battle]. 37 [points] might be enough, it usually is, but we’ve got three games to go.

"We’ve had a remarkable year. To be around 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th since last September, and get to a cup final and be - hopefully - safe with three games to go is a remarkable achievement."