FULHAM boss Kit Symons admits that he had mixed feelings after Saturday’s FA Cup draw at Sunderland – satisfied by the performance and frustrated by the failure to beat the Black Cats.
The Championship side held their own against Gus Poyet’s side, who were down to 10 men for much of the second half following Jack Rodwell’s dismissal, and could have secured a last-16 place at the first time of asking had substitute Hugo Rodallega’s late effort not cannoned to safety off a Sunderland post.
Now the clubs will meet again at Craven Cottage next Tuesday to settle the tie.
Cottagers manager Symons, who had spoken of his confidence in advance of the match, as reported in Friday’s Echo, said: “There’s an element of satisfaction to take, but also a bit of frustration really.
“Before the game, I fancied us to win it, 11 v 11 I still fancied us to win it.
“And after the sending off you’ll never have a better opportunity to beat a Premier League team away from home, but we’ll play at Craven Cottage and I fancy us in that now.
“In the changing room afterwards, we said we’ve got to pass that ball quicker, make them work and stretch them and then work the opening, and we didn’t really do that quite well enough.
“Our quality in the final third has been quite good in recent weeks, but it wasn’t quite there today. We had a few opportunities, a few openings but our quality wasn’t quite as good as it has been recently, so that was a little bit disappointing.
“But to come to a Premier League side and acquit yourself as we did, I think we should be very proud. So I’m a little bit disappointed but overall I’m very proud of my players – they put a real shift in for the club.
“I was confident before the game and I’m equally, if not more confident now, but also they’re top-flight opposition, they’ve got some excellent players and I think they showed that when they went down to 10 men.
“Some of their boys really stepped up then and upped their game a bit.
“So we won’t be complacent and we won’t take anything for granted and we’ll show them the full respect they deserve in the replay.”