Fulham boss Scott Parker says he is “proud” of his team despite another crushing blow in their Premier League survival and adds they must come back “fighting”.
The Whites looked to be heading for a point at Craven Cottage on Friday evening before Adama Traore struck a 93rd minute winner for Wolverhampton Wanderers to snatch all three points.
The result keeps the Whites in the relegation zone and three points behind 17th-placed Newcastle United, who have two games in hand.
Parker said: “It’s painful. I’ve been involved in the game a long time for many many years and it’s a painful one tonight. When the game ends like it does, it’s not a good feeling but it is what it is.
“I asked the team to come and show fight, spirit and desire, because you need that. There’s six, seven games left, we’re going to have to show that in abundance and we’ve shown that tonight. I’m very very proud of my team, I set them a challenge tonight, to come with a real endeavor which we have done for large parts this year.
“The nature of this league is sometimes you get hammer blows, that put you down, they put you to the canvas. What’s going to be the real test is us getting back up.
“Throughout this season, we’ve managed to get ourselves up when some people would’ve written us off, certainly we have had punches that really should’ve knocked us out and we’ve not done that.
“I’ve got a group of players here that care, that have passion, desire and are desperate to be successful this year and with that you have a real chance. We have gone to places this year and beat some big sides, I know everyone from the outside would’ve pictured this game as a must win, but Arsenal’s going to be a must win, the other games coming up are going to be must win.
“The team have tried their hardest to win the game tonight and we’ve fallen short.
“We’re in a world where everyone wants to crank pressure on us, but there’s been pressure on since the start of the season. When we were 10 points adrift [of safety] and people were writing us off, we’ve got ourselves into a position tonight where if we win the game we would’ve come out of the bottom three. Ok we’ve not managed to do that but there’s six games left and still loads of football to be played and this team can win football matches in this league.
“My words will always stay the same, people may think I’m mad but I honestly believe in this team. They have something about them which is engrained in me which is a real desire, effort and fight and my team portrayed that tonight and that’s what pleases me the most.”
Josh Maja missed a chance right at the death to equalise for Fulham and Parker knows those fine margins could be the difference between staying up and going down.
“That’s why it’s a hammer blow tonight because the boy [Adama Traore] has come in, in a tight angle and you’re half thinking shoot and it’s gone in. I repeat it’s a blow that puts you down, what’s going to be key is you get back up and you get back up fighting, you get back up with an endeavor and we will do that for sure.”
Parker insists that even though it’s tough, he has faced a lot of hard experiences in life and says you have to come back fighting.
“I lift myself. I’ve experienced a lot, not just in football. I’ve experienced loads of things outside of football. There’s only one way you come back from this, and you come back fighting. You come back with your hands up and you keep jabbing away and you keep trying to improve and get better.
“Never ever let anything sink us and that’s my constant message to this team. I’m as low as them tonight. I can guarantee come Monday, we will come back in and I’ll try to give them everything for us to be successful this year.”
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