Fulham must find a way to reproduce their thirst for big scalps when they take on the Premier League’s lesser lights, Zoltan Gera has conceded.
One week after a dismal display at Wolves, the Whites were again at their aggressive and troublesome best against a top four side and came close to repeating last year’s win at home to Arsenal.
Only the brilliant reflexes of stand-in keeper Vito Mannone denied Fulham a goal against the Gunners.
“I don’t know why we are better against the stronger sides. Last season it was the same,” Gera said.
“We lost against the teams who were relegated and we lost against Wolves last week.
“We need to change something and make sure we play well against everyone.
“I think we played well today against one of the best teams in the world. I think we should have scored a few goals but were just unlucky.
“Their keeper made a few fantastic saves, but if we keep going with performances like this, I think there will be no problems for us.
“It was a good derby game. I enjoyed every minute I was on the pitch and the atmosphere was very very good.”
Gera was pressed into action early after Damien Duff limped off injured with the game only eight minutes old.
Buoyed by his cracking goal at Man City in the Carling Cup in midweek, he was involved in that early move which almost brought a goal – supplying the cross that Johnson had saved. And he looked lively throught – typifying the Whites’ relentless energy levels.
The Hungarian also flashed a low shot that almost beat an inspired Mannone during a hugely promising first half and even though Arsenal found a way to get to grips with their awkward opponents, there were still chances for Dempsey and Johnson to find the net in the second half.
The Whites have little time to wallow in their disappointment at a second home loss of the campaign. FC Basle are at the Cottage on Thursday for a Europa League fixture.
“It’s difficult playing in both competitions,” Gera said.
“We need to keep the balance. I think the manager is very clever. He knows what he needs to do. We have lots of players and we need that in Europe and in the Premier League.
We are up against a good side [Basle] this week. They are an experienced team. Hopefully we will win the game. We want to through from the group stage.”