Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Coleman's Men Already Facing Battle for Survival

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Coleman's Men Already Facing Battle for Survival

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON JOHNSON

Man United 5 Fulham 1

Saha 7 Pearce og 15 Rooney 16, 64 Ronaldo 19 Ferdinand og 40

FULHAM boss Chris Coleman is already feeling the pressure after admitting his side were outclassed in a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford.

Coleman has been spending most of the summer insisting he can get the club into the top 10 this season but those hopes looked like a fantasy after just 19 minutes as Manchester United cruised into a four-goal lead.

Fulham, who are one of the favourites for relegation this term, had the worst away record in the league last year and there was little sign of an improvement as Manchester United ran amok.

Coleman looked a worried man after the final whistle and conceded his players had been made to look second best.

He said: "They steamrollered us. We hardly got hold of the ball in midfield, and when we did, we gave it away far too easily. We had a game-plan, but it went out of the window after 10 minutes. The wheels came off completely.

"Rather than just get settled in, we went hunting for the ball and they just played round us. We had a 10-minute wobble and we conceded four goals, and the game's finished.

"It's disappointing. We prepared very thoroughly for this game, but within 10 minutes it's all over. Then it's a long afternoon. The disappointing thing for us is that we didn't compete. But if we play like that on Wednesday against Bolton, which we know is going to be a tough game, it will be another defeat.

We've got to be ready for a war, a tough game. We will have to roll our sleeves up and make sure we are at the races."

But on the evidence of this display Coleman will have his work cut out to restore the players' belief in time for the match at Craven Cottage.

Fulham fans have been concerned at the lack of transfer activity this summer after being given the impression that Coleman had been given the funds to help realise his lofty ambitions.

Two of their acquisitions, Franck Queudrue and Jimmy Bullard, made their debuts yesterday but had matches to forget.

It wasn't long ago that Fulham did make major signings - but it was one of their most successful acquisitions who started the scoring against them yesterday. …

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