Tim Ream felt Fulham could be ‘very, very proud’ of their resilience after being reduced to ten men in the first minute at Reading and still emerging with a highly creditable point.
The American centre back lost his partner at the heart of the Fulham defence when Tomas Kalas was given his marching orders by referee Simon Hooper having brought down Mo Barrow. Ream told FulhamFCTV after the final whistle that the Whites had every right to be pleased with the performance and what Slavisa Jokanovic called ‘a priceless point’:
It’s a bit different from last Saturday! As tough as it is to come here and get a point, to do it with ten men for 90-odd minutes is something that we can all be very, very proud of.
The former Bolton Wanderers defender also shared something of insight into the thought processes of the Fulham back four after Kalas’ early dismissal.
You can’t change it. You curse to yourself a little bit and then you get on with it. There’s nothing you can do. We obviously couldn’t change what happened and couldn’t change the decision. It was a matter of getting organised and so we had got instructions from the manager and we just moved a few guys around until they brought on Denis and, like I said, you just get on with it.
I haven’t seen a replay of it yet, so I can’t say for certain one way or the other. I side inside [the dressing room] that I was maybe even with the following [Reading] player and where Tomas was at. It’s one of those – he could have gone either way, couldn’t he? It was such a tight angle that he could obviously have had a shot on goal, but there were two or three of us that were getting back in. You can’t change it, you get on with it, whether it was or it wasn’t – it’s not really something that we can worry about it.
Ream felt Fulham’s defensive shape and a detailed plan, put together in advance of the game by Jokanovic and his coaching staff, served the visitors well.
We obviously came here with a plan in place. I wouldn’t necessarily say it got completely thrown out the window after the first minute but we came here to do a job. Obviously every game we play we want three points and today even going down a man was no different, we felt we could have our chances. For us there was no talk of revenge, it was come out here and play the way we are capable of playing and continue what we did [against] Norwich and even before that in last year’s performances.
The strong defender was also full of praise for goalscorer Lucas Piazon’s contributon after the game.
That’s what Lucas brings. He brings an energy and an intensity whether he’s starting games or coming on. He showed it there – he latched onto a bad backpass, toed it around a guy and coolly put into the bottom of the net. We were already very confident with the way we were playing even though we were down 1-0, but for him to put that away was huge and it just gave everyone a boost to see the game out,