By James Agberebi:
Despite Fulham's disappointing 2-2 home Championship draw against struggling Blackburn Rovers at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night, Nigerian forward Sone Aluko is still optimistic his team will finish in the top six and make the play-offs, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Aluko opened the scoring against Blackburn on Tuesday night, while Blackburn replied from the penalty spot through Craig Conway before Cyriac made it 2-1 for Fulham.
However Lucas Joao then scored in stoppage time to make it 2-2.
The draw left Fulham seventh, just one point off a play-off spot, and Aluko lamented about the result. The teams finishing between third and sixth in the second-tier Championship qualify for the play-offs, where the best one will join the league winners and runners up in the Premier League.
“It is a tough one to take, a very tough one to take because I thought we should have won the game,” he told Fulham's official website on Wednesday.
“We dominated most of the game, then we gave away their first goal, which was poor, and then we got ourselves back in the game and we just had to see it out but we didn’t manage the game well at all and it has happened a few times so we will be annoyed in the changing room after that.
“I still think we played well but just again it was the management at the end of the game. I think we let a bit of the pressure get to us and we were deep, I think that’s why we gave the goal away because we were too deep.
“Overall we played well, we dominated the game, we did well to get back into the game and gave away a sloppy goal which happens in football.
“At the end of the day you’ve got to just take it on the chin, confidence is still high, four points from our last two games is not terrible, it’s not drastic so we will go again and we are still confident that we will make the Play-Offs.
“Every game in this league is tough, there’s not been a game that I would say is harder than another other, they are all challenges in their own ways.
“I would say needed the points as much as we needed the points, their new manager has given them a boost, a new way of playing and they were organised and had a lot of belief and didn’t get robbed.
“It was a tough game right to the end and we were disappointed that we didn’t manage the game.”
Commenting on his personal form which has coincided with the Fulham’s recent success, Aluko maintains that he is simply doing the job that is required of him.
“That’s why I’m in the team, to create goals and to score and at this stage of the season, in the business end," he added. "I’m very focused on being efficient for the team and make sure I create chances and take my chances.
“All in all I am trying to help the team but we need results at the end of the day, that’s all that matters at this stage of the season.”
Ahead of Saturday's home tie against Carl Ikeme's Wolverhampton Wanderers who are just two points above the relegation zone, Aluko said: “All the teams down there are scrapping for their lives, it always happens every season, they start turning it around at the end.
“Teams start getting desperate, they start taking more risks, throwing more people forward and you get rewards for that, so we have got to be wary of them and we will have a game-plan for them which we will try and execute as well.
“At the end of the day, we would’ve taken it a few weeks ago to be where we are now.
“We are disappointed now because of how hard we have worked and how well we have done to get in this situation.
“Obviously beating Newcastle away and then coming home against a team fighting at the bottom we fancied ourselves and we are disappointed but we will go again.”