CALVIN Bassey believes it is unfair for Joao Palhinha to be singled out for criticism in the wake of Fulham’s heartbreaking home defeat to Manchester United.
The Whites were seemingly on course to claim at least a point as the game entered stoppage time still scoreless.
However, Palhinha saw his attempted 91st minute clearance land at the feet of fellow Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes outside of the area, whose eventual sweetly struck shot snatched victory for the visitors.
Palhinha had earlier squandered a glorious opportunity to head Fulham in front after Andre Onana had pushed out Harry Wilson’s strike into his path.
But Bassey pointed out his team-mate wasn’t the only Fulham player who had failed to deal with the late attack which led to United’s winner.
He said: “We could have been 1-0 up with Joao’s chance.
“Maybe he should have passed it, maybe shot. You never know.
“He played well, and of course he’s disappointed because it was the last minute, but we all stick together.
“It’s not Joao’s fault, it’s not my fault – it’s nobody’s fault.
“Collectively we could have done better in the situation and that’s how we look at it.”
Fulham and Marco Silva must be sick of the sight of Manchester United now after suffering a similar late defeat in the league last season.
Throw in March’s controversial 3-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of the same opposition when Fulham ended the game with nine men having seemingly been in control at 1-0 up, you can see why Bassey and co don’t exactly relish dates with the Red Devils.
He added: “It’s always annoying that. Just when you thought we were going to leave with something, it gets shattered.
“The boss reminded us that we were very unlucky in both games last season, so it’s time to rewrite history.
“It was just unlucky.”
Alex Iwobi continued to impress for the Cottagers in a second home league start since his deadline day arrival from Everton.
The former Arsenal man had just been substituted by Raul Jimenez in the 89th minute, so wasn’t on the field when Fernandes grabbed his winner.
Even so, the outcome still hurt the Nigerian international.
He told fulhamfc.co.uk: “Of course it’s difficult to take.
“We had the opportunities to get a goal and we felt like we were on top of them as well, we dominated, especially in the second half.
“But we just have to go again, put this to rest, analyse and take the positives into the next game.
“We played well. The fighting spirit was there, we created many chances, we did well with the ball.
“Like I said, I feel like in the second half we dominated much more, so we just have to take that into the next game.
“We analysed them well and I feel like it was a good performance, but it’s the small details that win the game and unfortunately Man United took all three points.”
Next up for Fulham is an away trip to Aston Villa on Sunday (ko 2pm).