Scott Parker took responsibility for Fulham’s defeat by Nottingham Forest yesterday – refusing to blame young full back Steven Sessegnon after his mistake left the Whites 2-0 down.
Sessegnon’s lapse in judgement allowed Sammy Ameobi to set up Lewis Grabban for his second of the afternoon to leave Fulham facing an uphill task to get something of the game. But Parker told the press that the mistake resulted from his own instructions to his defenders to play the ball out of the back and that no blame should be attached to the teenage full back on only his third league start for the club.
Parker felt Fulham were good value for a point against Forest, despite being punished for a sloppy start, when Grabban opened the scoring inside five minutes.
I felt like we controlled the game and were in control. But we started slow. I was disappointed with how we started the game to be honest. The first 10 to 15 minutes were on the back foot a little bit. On another day we control the game as much as we did there today and the chances would come. The chances didn’t come our way today.
I always felt comfortable in the way in which we were playing. In the first and second half we played well but for the second goal the mistake came from us. I take responsibility for that, because it’s the way I want us to play and that can happen sometimes. Steven has been top since the day he’s walked in pre-season. It’s his third game and mistakes happen. But, like I said, it’s not Steven Sessegnon’s fault. It’s my fault, if anything. I take full responsibility for that.
Aleksandar Mitrovic did pull a goal back with eight minutes to play, but despite concerted Fulham pressure, the home side couldn’t find an equaliser.
The longer the game went on nobody was leaving the stadium. I don’t think there were any Fulham fans in there who would think we would come away with nothing. We went to a back three and tried to push more bodies further up the field. But nothing came.