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Plucky Felix Magath still convinced Fulham will stay up

Feb 22, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

West Bromwich Albion v Fulham - Barclays Premier League Getty Images

You certainly have to like Felix Magath’s optimism, which can be more easily swallowed after a good result today. Yes, it would have been much better for the debuting manager had Fulham held on and took all three points at the Hawthorns.

Still, a point at West Brom (in a 1-1 draw) isn’t an awful outcome for Fulham’s increasingly desperate doings.

Magath says he is certain the last-place Cottagers – a team so close to so many American hearts due to all the U.S. internationals who have passed happily through Craven Cottage over the last 10 or so years – will remain in the Premier League.

He said so before Saturday’s match and refused to come off that stance afterward.

“I was sure before the game and I am sure now,” he said after Saturday’s draw. “We were close to winning against West Brom and the next game we will win. It is only against Chelsea!”

Plucky fellow, eh?

Here’s the issue: Magath will have to instill that kind of genuine, unbending confidence in his charges, because the schedule gets harder before it starts softening a bit. The Cottagers finish with matches at home in the last five weeks against Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace – all contests in which supporters of the West London side can arrive with realistic hopes of Ws.

But the toughies are lined up ahead of what will surely be a late, gripping dash to the wire; there are plenty of matches that would ring the bell of “big upset” if Fulham can take a point or three.

Here is what Fulham’s final 11 matches look like:

  • vs. Chelsea
  • at Cardiff
  • vs. Newcastle
  • at Manchester City
  • vs. Everton
  • at Aston Villa
  • vs. Norwich
  • at Tottenham
  • vs. Hull
  • at Stoke City
  • vs. Crystal Palace