The Bluebirds were shoved closer to the drop after a 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

Ryan Babel dealt Neil Warnock another blow in what the Cardiff manager admits has been a season of “kicks in the teeth”.

The Bluebirds were shoved closer to the drop after a 1-0 defeat at Fulham, courtesy of a 25-yard wonder-goal from Babel.

With 11 minutes remaining and a stalemate on the cards, the Dutch winger collected the ball from Cyrus Christie and hit a fierce first-time shot which curled away from keeper Neil Etheridge as it flew into the top corner.

“He was probably the only player on the pitch who could have scored it,” said Warnock.

“It was a great finish and I can’t complain about that. That’s the Premier League for you.

“You get what you pay for. For me it brings home the Emiliano Sala tragedy. I thought he could have got us 10 goals. It’s been blow after blow for us.

“We’ve been kicked in the teeth up hill and down dale but I just told the players to keep going. They are trying the best they can. At least I can’t blame the ref.”

It’s now three wins out of three, with three clean sheets, for Fulham which is too late to save them but will do Scott Parker‘s chances of landing the permanent job no harm at all.

“It was a moment of brilliance and sheer class from Ryan,” said caretaker boss Parker.

“With some of the chances we missed I thought maybe today was not going to be our day but Ryan has come up with a wonder-strike which deserved to be the match-winner.

“Fulham fans want to see fight and desire and the team are giving themselves a good representation with hard work. It’s paying off with three clean sheets and three wins.”

The match was overshadowed by what appeared a horrific first-half injury to Denis Odoi, who stooped to head the ball clear and took a boot in the face from his Fulham team-mate Maxime Le Marchand.

The defender was out cold as he crumpled to the floor, and although he initially got back to his feet he then required treatment for eight minutes before eventually being taken off on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask.

Thankfully Odoi was fine and did not need to be taken to hospital.

“He was out cold for four or five seconds and with concussion protocol I don’t know whether his season is done, but he’s all good,” added Parker.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock stares at the officials after his side's defeat to Chelsea on March 31, 2019

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