Magath vows to get Fulham back in Premier League

Stoke City 4 Fulham 1

Magath vows to get Fulham back in Premier League

Magath’s future will inevitably come under scrutiny after a 4-1 defeat to Stoke which confirmed the 60-year-old had failed in his mission to avoid the drop and in the process experienced the first relegation of his own storied nine-club career.

Magath made no excuses for the feeble manner of his side’s demise, with goals from Peter Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic, Oussama Assaidi and Jonathan Walters serving Stoke up the simplest of wins, with a Kieran Richardson effort offering scant consolation.

But a defiant Magath insisted: “I don’t think to do anything else except stay at Fulham and build up a new team — that was the idea when I came here.

“It is clear we have to change something, I want to have success with Fulham in the next years. I will talk about the situation with the owner and we will start to come back.”

Magath was damning in his verdict of his side’s performance, accusing his players of lacking fighting spirit and being overwhelmed with nerves.

“You saw no fighting spirit and therefore I think they felt too much pressure,” added Magath. “I apologise for not managing the situation because I was convinced we’d stay in the league.”

Stoke, in contrast, were brimming with purpose from the first minute and delighted boss Mark Hughes — himself a former Fulham boss — with a performance which equals their previous best top-flight record of 47 points with one game to go.

The impressive Assaidi blazed over from a Steven Nzonzi cross in the third minute, then Stephen Ireland forced a fine save from David Stockdale.

The visitors’ troubles were encapsulated by Lewis Holtby, who sailed an early free-kick into the arms of Asmir Begovic, then suffered the ignominy of being hauled off just past the half-hour with Magath accusing his player of offering “nothing” to help his side’s survival fight.

Stoke finally got the goal their performance deserved in the 39th minute when Ireland’s shot struck Dan Burn, ricocheted against the underside of the bar and bounced down for Odemwingie to slot home a simple opener.

They increased their lead on 54 minutes when Arnautovic smashed home an Odemwingie cross to make it 2-0, then Arnautovic turned provider for Assaidi to grab his side’s third 17 minutes from time.

Richardson pulled one back on 80 minutes but Stoke wrapped it up as Walters finished another swift counter-attacking move.

STOKE: Begovic, Cameron, Wilson, Muniesa, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Ireland (Adam 70), Assaidi (Etherington 75), Odemwingie (Walters 78).

Subs not used: Palacios, Crouch, Wilkinson, Sorensen.

FULHAM: Stockdale, Burn (Mitroglou 58), Heitinga, Hangeland, Riise, Diarra (Kasami 73), Holtby (Dejagah 34), Parker, Sidwell, Richardson, Bent.

Subs not used: Woodrow, Riether, Amorebieta, Joronen.

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

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