Millwall boss: Fulham striker 'conned' referee

NEIL Harris felt Fulham striker Rui Fonte made the most of contact with Conor McLaughlin for Fulham’s winning penalty against Millwall.

Fonte and McLaughlin tangled in first-half injury-time before Oliver Norwood beat Jordan Archer from the spot.

The Lions hit the woodwork twice through Tom Elliott and George Saville in either half, and Saville fired a free-kick from 20 yards over the bar with four minutes left.

“It’s the story of our season away from home,” Harris said. “I can’t fault my players for their attitude, implementing the game plan, doing exactly what I asked of them.

“It was two very different styles of play: total football and trying to play through the middle and the other a bit more direct.

“We went with three up top and one behind and it worked, we played on the front foot, we were aggressive and had chances. Our anticipation in the penalty area needs to be slightly better and that comes through confidence as much as anything.

“At the other end we get punished by a harsh refereeing decision. I can see why he’s given it but the player has conned him into giving it, in my eyes. We get punished by a penalty right on half-time and that probably sums up where we’ve been so far.

“What helps the referee give it is Macca’s the wrong side of the player but contact is minimal. The player clearly throws himself at an angle to the floor to highlight the contact. The player has done well to force the referee to give it.

“[We got] a standing ovation when we came off from a brilliant fanbase today, they were absolutely top drawer, but we’ve got no points and that’s the frustration for me and my players again.

“I said to them, ‘what can I say to you?’ Where we need to improve is those little moments of quality where we need to anticipate in the penalty area. And we will, we have to try to keep improving and add to the squad with quality players.”

Fulham boss Slavis Jokanovic, meanwhile, felt the penalty was “clear”.

He added his side had to "suffer" against a more physical Millwall side: "We are fighting without the ball, they send many long balls and are more solid, they are bigger and stronger in this kind of situation. We are suffering, we try to push but we don't have enough tools to find a solution for the problem.

"The team suffers together and we made a clean sheet, that's fantastic news for us."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly