Chris Basham's horror injury will haunt us all season, says Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom
Basham appeared to break his ankle in the first half at Craven Cottage and required extensive medical attention before the game resumed.
United manager Heckingbottom admitted the injury would impact their season.
“No one wants to see that ever. I’ve been involved in it on the pitch with one of my team-mates, but when it’s one of your own players it’s far worse and it’s tough,” said Heckingbottom.
“In the second half we were thinking of Basham and were trying to get points for him.
“It’s terrible, it’s horrific. Of course it’s going to affect us, it’s going to for the season.”
The Yorkshire club are still searching for their first win of the season and sit at the bottom of the Premier League with just one point on the board.
Heckingbottom challenged his players to stop the rot, saying no one would feel sorry for them after another defeat extended their losing run to four games.
“You get what you deserve and we are where we deserve to be,” he added. “It’s only us who can get ourselves out of it and that’s why we are down there. We have to fight and wait for those moments to turn them and capitalise on them.
“No one is going to feel sorry us.
“Our next opponents are not going to worry about the three players we have lost this week or the fact that we have conceded and lost points. We have to enjoy it in every game. Even the players who are having a tough time, you have to enjoy it, when you’re up against top players you have to enjoy the challenge
“We have fought very hard to be here, we want to compete.”
Willian rolled back the years in inspiring Fulham to victory.
The 35-year-old Brazilian produced a stunning display, cementing his side’s win with a third goal following Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s strike and an unfortunate Wes Foderingham own goal.
United’s only goal also came when Antonee Robinson put into his own net. Willian was off the pace on Monday but he looked to make up for it with surging runs forward, one which nearly set up Vinicius before his own shot inside the box was saved by Foderingham after 19 minutes.
Sheffield United were being outfought, they rarely had meaningful touches in Fulham’s territory and their first-half performance begged the question as to where their chances would come from.
The Cottagers took a deserved lead through De Cordova-Reid.
Fulham transitioned quickly and a splitting pass from Pereira set the Jamaica international through before he held his nerve to convert past Foderingham. But in the 67th minute Sheffield United forced an own goal to level the score at 1-1. Fulham’s Issa Diop went down injured but the Blades refused to kick the ball out and Yasser Larouci’s dangerous cross cannoned off Antonee Robinson into his own net.
Substitute Tom Cairney bailed his side out when his long shot forced an own goal and gave Fulham the lead. Willian got the goal he deserved in the eighth minute of stoppage time with a powerful shot.
Fulham: Leno, Castagne, Diop (Bassey 71), Ream, Robinson, Iwobi (Reed 79), Joao Palhinha, Pereira (Cairney 71), Reid (Wilson 78), Vinicius (Rodrigo Muniz 78), Willian. Unused substitutes: Rodak, Jimenez, Ballo-Toure, Lukic.
Sheffield United: Foderingham, Basham (Robinson 35), Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Bogle, V Souza, Norwood, Hamer (McAtee 66), Thomas (Larouci 66), McBurnie, Archer (Brewster 79). Unused substitutes: A Davies, Fleck, Traore,Slimane, Seriki.
Referee: S Barrott (West Yorkshire).