Meulensteen: Felt like a win
Rene Meulensteen admits Fulham's last-gasp leveller in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United left them feeling like winners.
The Cottagers experienced a rollercoaster of emotions at Old Trafford on Sunday, but were left with something to show for their efforts.
Steve Sidwell fired them into a shock lead and they withstood a barrage of crosses until finally being breached 12 minutes from time.
Quick-fire goals from Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick turned the tie on its head, but Darren Bent stooped to nod home in stoppage-time to snatch what could be a priceless point for Fulham in their bid to preserve their Premier League status.
Meulensteen told Sky Sports: "We set out, as anybody can see, we needed to stay in there after the results we have had in the last couple of weeks. But we made it very difficult for them.
"United have got some problems of their own in that respect. They kept creating chances and crosses but I think we defended fantastically well and held out as long as we could.
"At the end, you think you have let it slip away. When you get bombarded like that, you know the class that they have to score the goal, which they did and it gave them a lift. But at the end, for Darren Bent to score that equaliser felt like a winner."
Asked whether it had been his intention to sit deep and soak up pressure or whether it had been the attacking intent of United which had forced Fulham back, Meulensteen added: "Both. It was never the intention to sit as deep and as much as we did. But when they push people forward in a situation like this, you know that confidence is sometimes not the highest and somewhere down the line something has to give a little bit.
"We focused a lot on making sure we kept our shape, we defended well, but at times we didn't really play the football that we really want to play. Having said that, we know where we are and this is a valid point for us."
Fulham are now four points adrift of safety with 13 games to play and Meulensteen believes they can take considerable heart from their showing at the home of the defending champions.
He said: "The most important thing is that we got a point. I think a lot of people had started to classify us as dead and buried, but we learn from that.
"We have got far too much quality in the team and far too much team spirit to be down where we are. That showed today. Hopefully now we can kick on."