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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2006

Coleman comes down hard on Cottagers

Fulham boss Chris Coleman today told his FA Cup flops they may have blown their chances of becoming first-team regulars by losing at home to Leyton Orient.

The Cottagers provided the greatest upset of the third round when they were sent crashing out of the competition yesterday with a dire 2-1 defeat which Coleman blamed on his side's arrogance.

It was a shocking display from Barclays Premiership Fulham - who despite their enormous injury problems, still paraded enough talent to dispatch their Coca-Cola League Two opponents.

Of the starting line-up only Niclas Jensen, Ian Pearce and Ahmad Elrich have not been regularly involved in the first team - while the disappointing Collins John got his wish of operating up front and not on the wing.

Coleman said: 'One or two players who have not been in the team have been knocking on my door. That was their chance, and now they've made it easy for me when the rest of the guys get back.

'I don't like losing, and certainly not in that manner. I won't accept that, simple as that.

'Forget about any injuries we've got; we had a strong enough team on the pitch to win the game had we been at the races. We weren't, and I can only put that down to a bad attitude.

'Obviously the FA Cup wasn't so important to one or two of my players. You could tell that from the arrogance they showed.'

Fulham are in the midst of an injury crisis - with first-team regulars Claus Jensen, Moritz Volz, Steed Malbranque, Carlos Bocanegra, Phillippe Christanval, Brian McBride and Heidar Helguson in the treatment room.

Papa Bouba Diop is also unavailable because of African Nations Cup duty, leaving Fulham's squad threadbare and potentially forcing Coleman to name an unchanged side for Saturday's Premiership clash with Newcastle.

'I don't know if I can make any changes, because I'm not sure if the guys we were missing against Orient will be available for next week,' he said.

Orient boss Martin Ling revealed his side's FA Cup run will allow him to strengthen the squad, with promotion to League One the number one priority.

'The push this result will give us is the finance to go and buy a couple of players. We haven't got massive strength in depth,' he said.

'The FA Cup is a money-making exercise for us. We've made good money so far, and this will make us some more. In 28 months I haven't spent a transfer fee.

'I don't know how to make a bid for players. I've spoken to the chairman, and he's told me there's some money to get a striker and centre-half - because we're short in both departments.

'Getting to League One is the main aim for us. The glory of the Cup is lovely, and we'll take all the plaudits and headlines. But the main thing is Northampton on Saturday.'