I’m never quite sure how much stock to put in pre-season friendlies. Quite often teams have a dreadful run of results before their league campaign starts and begin the ‘proper’ season in terrific form. In our case, the picture is clouded by the Europa League.
Take two years ago for example. I was disappointed to see a young Fulham side well-beaten at AFC Wimbledon, but other than the concession of a sloppy second goal, Roy Hodgson – sitting right in front of me that night – didn’t seem too concerned. We went on to reach the final of the Europa League at the end of that improbable season. An arguably stronger Fulham side were beaten by AFC (now a Football League side) at Kingsmeadow yesterday and if Billy McKinlay didn’t seem too perturbed by the result, he’ll be disappointed with the concession of the goals.
The first was particularly poor. We miss a great chance to clear the corner at the near post and the ball travels too far, allowing Brett Johnson to thrash home.
The second video doesn’t capture the goal clearly – but it takes a hefty deflection to leave Stockdale completely stranded.
Hopefully the boys will be in better shape defensively against Crusaders on Thursday.