Holtby hopeful of survival
Published 13/02/2014 | 13:32
Fulham are rooted to the foot of the table with just 12 matches remaining, but Lewis Holtby believes they possess the attitude and aptitude required to stave off relegation.
Things look bleak for the west Londoners right now, marooned four points adrift of safety with a goal difference of minus 32 - the worst in the Premier League.
However, Fulham's recent displays belie those statistics, with Sunday's 2-2 draw at Manchester United followed by an unfortunate, last-gasp 3-2 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.
The Whites twice let leads slip away from them before Steven Gerrard struck what was a sickening winner for midfielder Holtby, one of the hosts' standout players.
"It is really hard to imagine we lost this game," the Germany international said. "We had a really good game.
"The second and third goals are sloppy goals, we should have done better. We could have had three points last night.
"Should've, would've, could've - we lost the game and have to pick ourselves up and be mentally ready for the next game.
"It could have been three points against a Liverpool side who did not have their best game. It is really disappointing.
"Credit to all the guys, we had a fantastic game, but we have nothing and that is not what you need when you are fighting against relegation."
Holtby is right: Fulham need points and they need them quickly.
Manager Rene Meulensteen believes the Cottagers need seven wins from their remaining 12 matches if they are to avoid seeing the drop.
The bookmakers certainly think survival is out of reach, making Fulham firm favourites for the drop.
Holtby, though, has seen enough since joining on loan in January to remain confident of confounding the doubters.
"The belief is always there," he said. "We have to be mentally strong and that is the key to getting out of the drop zone.
"There is enough. We have got the quality to stay up but we need to get some points.
"We need to be solid at the back because we are conceding too many goals and that is a problem.
"We conceded two in the last game, three last night, and that is too many."