Writer: Ollie Sheehan
Date:Wednesday April 26 2006
Steve Kean yesterday admitted that his Fulham side were lucky to steal three points against Wigan but added that it was justice done.
The Fulham assistant manager believes that everything evens itself out over a season, and what goes around comes around, after Wigan luckily took all three points when the sides met at the JJB Stadium in October.
Fulham could and should have been awarded three penalties and missed a host of first-half chances before going down late on to a Pascal Chimbonda goal in the 92nd minute.
The win was very hard on Fulham after a spirited attacking display and Kean now looks at it as having ridden their luck, the beat the team that had also rode their luck against the Cottagers at home.
'Our performance was the opposite of Wigan's,' Kean told Fulhamfc.com. 'To be honest we probably didn't deserve the points, especially in the first half. We knew that at half time we had to change it around a little which was why we altered the shape and went to the diamond in midfield. We just weren't winning any second balls and we were allowing Bullard and Kavanagh in the Wigan midfield too much space, so they were really running the game.
'We also wanted to pass it through the midfield more instead of always taking the first option and whipping it straight up to the front. Because our front two are so good, it can sometimes tempt the players to get it up to them a bit too early and that's certainly what we did at times.'
'As far and chances and possession go, yes, Wigan probably deserved something from the game. But, that said, when you look back to the game up at their place, it was the complete opposite and we were hard done by. So it all evens out.'
At least Kean can see where things are going wrong. Far too often this season it has been a case of surrendering possession in midfield far too easily instead of playing a simple pass. Having a below-par defence does not help when you are being bombarded by the team with the ball.
The win has at least left Chris Coleman's side to breathe easier for the rest of the season after assuring their Premiership survival and clocking up a present tally of 42 points.
Kean was certainly happy with Fulham's player of the month, Steed Malbranque, his superb strike into the roof of the net being the difference between the two sides.
'It was a great finish from Steed and he's certainly back to his best now. As for the World Cup, I'm sure he's in the minds of the French selectors as a stand-by should any of the regular players get injured.'
Hopefully for the club, Malbranque can help them finish in a more respectable position by the end of the season.
'We've won three out of five now. So there's no reason for us not to try and finish really strongly and aim for 11th or 12th. There is no reason why we can't go unbeaten in these final three games.'
Date:Wednesday April 26 2006
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