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Fulham boss Felix Magath sticks up for the kids

16 August 2014

Fulham manager Felix Magath insisted after his team's 1-0 home defeat by Millwall that his decision to rely on youth this season is the right way forward for the club despite a second loss in as many games.

Millwall took the lead in the 12th minute at Craven Cottage when a cross from the left by Ricardo Fuller skidded off the head of Fulham captain Scott Parker and landed at the feet of Martyn Woolford who could not miss.

Fulham's lively young side had the better of things from then on, especially after the introduction of £11m summer signing Ross McCormack, but they seldom found a way past a Millwall defence well marshalled by captain Alan Dunne.

And when they did, Republic of Ireland goalkeeper David Forde was in top form.

"We had our chances and missed them," Magath said. "We worked hard and tried a lot, we played very well, but we were not able to score. It's more physical football than in the Premier League but we expected that."

He added: "Our philosophy has its strengths and weaknesses, if you work with young players. And I will do, because I'm trying to prepare this club not only to be promoted to the Premier League but also to be in the top half.

"I decided to take young players into the squad this season and I'm very happy with them and how they worked. I hope they go on working and will not be too disappointed, losing confidence. I'm sure we will develop with this team and make our point. Today if we had scored it is sure we would have won the game."

Millwall manager Ian Holloway hailed his club's fans after they cheered their team to a third victory of the season, many arriving by boat along the Thames.

He also praised Fulham for treating the match as a normal home game and not requesting an altered kick-off time.

He said: "Every time you come here they are respectful, they invited us in and there has been no trouble. Why does anybody look at us any different from any other football club on the planet? Those people deserve to see their team. I'm very proud of them today and I'm proud of my team.

"The difference between them and us was millions of pounds. But we play for each other and the fans. Fulham have some brilliant young players that look half decent. We got a few things wrong, we got a fair few right, but we needed to today. We could have nicked it by a couple more but I needed my goalie to make two brilliant saves as well. All in all, I'm absolutely delighted."

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