Another game at the Cottage, another 2pts dropped. While this was a much better performance than we have seen recently, our lack of cutting edge is a worry. In the second half Fredericks and Odoi between them sent in enough dangerous crosses into the box for us to score a hatful, but we didn’t manage to even force Carson into a save! Derby defended very well, but I can’t help but feeling frustrated at the result of that match. We might feel hard done by with a couple of possible penalties not given, but overall, we can’t blame the ref for not taking our chances. The equaliser was avoidable but at least we did look a bit tidier in defence as we have done recently.
Anyway, here are my player ratings. Feel free to disagree, I love a good footballing discussion!
Button-6- Truth be told, Button had little to do in the first half apart from dealing with one cross and a handful of back passes. It was a combination of Button and Sessegnon that led to conceding possession for the Derby equaliser but h made amends with an important block from a Nugent shot when Fulham were caught flat at the back just after. When called into action, Button generally did a good job.
Fredericks-8- Once again Fredericks was our best performer in both attack and defence. His final ball let him down on a number of occasions in the first half, but in the second half he did everything that he could have to create chances. Fredericks seems to be the only player in a Fulham shirt willing to actually run at defenders and make an attempt to get the ball into the box and it’s just a shame that we don’t have someone there to stick it into the net at the minute.
Ream-6- Ream looked a lot tidier tonight than he did against Wolves. With his frame, he was always going to take a while to adapt to Jokanovic’s passing game but I thought that he did a better job than normal with this. Apart from one or two misplaced passes, Ream didn’t do a lot wrong tonight.
Kalas-6- Recalled after being dropped against Wolves, Kalas nearly early gifted Nugent an opener after just 9minutes with a weak back header. Thankfully, he put this early mistake behind him and produced a performance more like the ones we saw from him last season. He still has improvements to make, but a competent display from the loanee.
Odoi-7- Dennis Odoi must have one of the best touches at the club. He seems to be able to take the ball down from anywhere, and this helped us out big time on a couple of occasions in the first half. What I like about Odoi is that when he does make a mistake, he busts a gut to get back. This was shown when he lost the ball high up the pitch after about 50minutes but came charging back to take the ball off the toe of Nugent when he was threatening a shot. He is a better option than Sessegnon at LB.
Norwood-7- Back in his preferred anchor role just in front of the defence, Norwood showed a wealth of ability tonight. He nearly set up Ayite for an early opener with a beautifully whipped cross and linked play up well with Cairney. His goal to break the deadlock was superb.
Cairney-7- Tom Cairney makes things happen. He cut the Derby defence open on 16min with a low ball that was just slightly too heavy for Sessegnon. He was our main play maker throughout but was guilty on a number of occasions of trying to walk the ball into the net. We certainly look a better team with Cairney in the side so let’s hope that he is back for good!
Edun-5- In for Johansen who woke up this morning with a fever according Jokanovic. It took about 38minutes for him to do anything of note but when he did get himself into the game he did well, particularly when linking up with Sessegnon in and around the box. I also thought his efforts to get back and defend when required was a real plus in his performance. He made way for De La Torre after 60minutes but he can be reasonably happy with his performance tonight.
Ayite-6- Ayite nearly opened the scoring with a looping header with just 13minutes gone after a swerving run into the box but that was as close as the winger got. His build up play with Fredericks was very positive tonight but he was another one guilty of over playing the ball when in attack. He should have done better from Kamara’s cut-back late on but sent his effort into row Z instead.
Fonte-4- Lots of willing running from our striker tonight but struggled to really get into the game. By half way through the first half he had had little or no deliveries into the box for him to do anything with. We seemed very reluctant to cross the ball in the air into the box and you could see just how frustrated Fonte was getting with this tactic. Another game goes by with Fonte not living up to his price tag but I can’t help but feel that he just needs someone to play alongside for him to make an impact.
Sessegnon-4– On corner duty but failed to beat the first man with a number of these. He looked dangerous down the left when given freedom but gave the ball away on far too many occasions after falling over. He also lost the ball in the build-up for Derby’s equaliser and failed to get back to defend so a good bit of the blame for it could land on his shoulders. He was unlucky not to get a penalty in the second half when he was upended by Tom Lawrence but other than that, it was a poor performance from the youngster.
Kamara-5- Came on for Fonte in the 60th minute and produced a better performance than his last few outings. He found himself in a wide position in the 78th minute and found Ayite with a low cross which was wasted. He hasn’t quite learned how to use his strength to put pressure on defenders without fouling them which is frustrating because if he learned how to do that, he would be a right pain in the backside for defenders.
De La Torre-7- I know he only had about 27th minutes on the pitch, but I was very impressed with what De La Torre contributed to the team. He came on for Edun in the 63rd minute and nearly scored with his first touch with a looping header from an Ayite cross. He was much better at getting forward than Tayo Edun was, but was perhaps just a step or two behind a goal scoring position on a couple of occasions when Fredericks sent in a good cross. I think we will maybe start seeing more of the American, especially considering how much we miss someone willing to burst forward. Very impressive cameo for the young man.