Football Expert & Columnist
Fulham 2-2 Hull: survival is not yet beyond Cottagers, says Glenn Hoddle
Magath is a winner who believes safety is still within reach...
Last Updated: 27/04/14 10:02am
The Cottagers surrendered a two-goal lead, earned through goals from Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta, as Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long scored in the final 15 minutes at Craven Cottage.
Manager Felix Magath said after the match that he thought his team had 'a problem of the mind' and former England boss Hoddle agreed and said Fulham had been over-cautious.
"They went 2-0 up and they decided to defend so deep it was almost like they were drawing Hull onto them," he said. "You just sensed they were hanging on and hanging on at 2-1.
"That is a mind-set; you have to have strong personalities, strong characters out there when you are down the bottom.
"From 2-0 up that result will be devastating in their dressing room; that will feel like a big loss, not just a loss.
"Felix came out and said that he felt they certainly needed to win their home games to survive and when you are 2-0 up against Hull, a team that is in mid-table, pretty safe and has a Cup final on their minds, you would have thought they would have gone on and won that.
"But I think Felix is right in what he is saying - it's a mental thing."
Magath believes Fulham must now win their remaining games of the season - away to Stoke on May 3 and at home to Crystal Palace on May 11 - to avoid the drop.
Yet while the west Londoners remain in the drop zone, they are only one point away from safety and Hoddle believes they could yet secure their Premier League status.
"This result is a blow for them but with the fixtures that they've got against two teams that are safe and floating, if you like - Crystal Palace and Stoke City.
"Palace is always going to be tough given what Tony Pulis is doing there and Stoke away will be tough too but they are two games they will look at [and think they can get something].
"It's not like poor Norwich, who have got Chelsea and Arsenal. Fulham's remaining games are winnable and if they get four points from those two games, that could make them safe."
If Fulham do survive, Hoddle has no doubt that former Bayern Munich coach Magath, who joined the club on an 18-month in February, should take a great many of the plaudits.
"Magath is passionate and excited by the challenge of trying to keep Fulham up - his disappointment was clear to see as well," he reflected.
"I think he's a winner - he's won trophies but he's also got teams up. He knows that was two points lost and it was a big blow to him.
"He's an experienced campaigner and he's kept teams up in other countries which is why Fulham have brought him in.
"I still think that on Monday morning when he regroups with the players that he'll be positive; he's making sure that he's driving the mental belief over to the players.
"He's saying 'we are still good enough to stay in this league' and he'll continue to do that."