Felix Magath wants chance to lead Fulham back to Premier League
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom // Felix Magath wants to be given the responsibility of leading Fulham back to the English Premier League despite suffering one of the worst days of his managerial career.
Magath suffered his first relegation as a manager as second bottom Fulham’s drop into the Championship was confirmed after a 4-1 thrashing at Stoke City on Saturday.
The German was at a loss to explain why his side lacked the fighting spirit that has been a characteristic of his lengthy managerial career.
But Magath wants to be trusted with reviving Fulham in the second tier after having little time to make his mark since replacing Rene Meulensteen in February.
“We have to talk about our situation, when I signed it was clear we had to change something,” Magath said.
“The club was at the bottom of the table and things developed in the last weeks, but it was not enough.
“I will speak to the owner and we can start to come back. I want that chance.
“You can imagine this is one of the worst days I have ever had.
“I was very confident that we could avoid relegation, until today. I was convinced that we would have a great chance to avoid it.”
Lacklustre Fulham went down in tame fashion at the Britannia Stadium and Magath was disappointed his side could not recover despite only trailing 1-0 at the break.
“In Germany we would say we had a ‘blackout’,” he said. “We had no chance from the beginning, we were not in the game.
“The team felt too much pressure, we could not run, pass or play. We were never being in the game – we had no chance. At half time I tried for sure.
“Nobody said a word at the end, everybody looked down at the floor.
“There were some tears. But I have to take responsibility and I apologise for not managing the situation.
“For the fans, I say sorry for this bad performance, it was not right for fighting against relegation.
“It’s not that the players don’t want to fight, they could not. They were not for that situation.”
This was a significant win for Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who left Fulham back in 2011 citing the club’s “lack of ambition”.
He has helped Stoke equal their record Premier League points total of 47 and now he has set his sights on the close-season, including keeping Oussama Assaidi, the on-loan Liverpool winger, who scored the third goal in this win.
“He is technically a very good player and we possibly surprised them with the front three,” Hughes said.
“We accept Assaidi is Liverpool’s player but there is a hope we can keep him here.
“We’re hopeful but it’s out of our hands to a certain extent as it is based on what Liverpool value him at.”
Hughes, whose side also scored through Peter Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic and Jon Walters, admitted he felt some sadness for Fulham after his spell at Craven Cottage.
“I’ve seen a number of people who worked really hard for me at Fulham and they are really upset and you don’t like to see that,” he added.
“It is an unforgiving league. There’s a lot of good people there and I hope they can bounce back.
“But we were very good, I was very pleased with the focus as it was a difficult game with their predicament.
“We have matched the biggest total Stoke have had in the Premier League.
“It was a good performance. Once we scored the first goal we made it difficult for them.”
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Published: May 4, 2014 04:00 AM