Scott Parker apologised to the Fulham faithful for the Whites’ unacceptable performance after they were thrashed 3-0 at Craven Cottage by the Championship’s bottom side, Barnsley.
The Fulham boss admitted that he hadn’t seen such a pitiful showing coming and resolved to put things right before Friday’s trip to Derby. The home side were second best throughout as a brace from former Fulham forward Cauley Woodrow put the visitors on the way to a richly deserved victory.
Big shock. I didn’t anticipate or see that one coming. I hold no excuses. We were beaten by a better side today, a side who had more intensity about them. We were second best at times and we didn’t deserve anything out of the game. I am shocked, I am bitterly disappointed, I am gutted. I didn’t see it coming. The fans have come here, they didn’t see it coming, and I can only apologise for the performance today because it wasn’t what we’ve come to expect, but sometimes these things happen.
The important thing is to keep going, keep driving, keep being those strong characters in the changing room, keep improving, and not dwell. We come out the back of a six game unbeaten run. This team has done remarkably well over this period, have stayed in it, and narrowed the gap.
On the 14th of December I think it was 12 points to the ones above us, so we’ve done very well. This is a bump in the road and this is what this league brings, there are no surprises. You’re playing the bottom of the league team who are fighting for their lives who can come and do what they did to us today. We need to learn from that and understand that.
The Fulham manager refused to pass judgement on goalkeeper Marek Rodak, who gave away a first half penalty and then was culpable for Barnsley’s second goal after dashing off his line and being lobbed by Jacob Brown. Parker told his post-match press conference that he wasn’t going to make any hasty decisions.
He’s made two errors today Marek, he’d be the first to hold his hands up and say that. The last thing I’m going to do is sit here and criticise him because he’s been nothing short of fantastic since he came into the team. The biggest challenge for Marek now, and the challenge I set to all of them is: during these moments let it kill you, let it burn inside you, of course, but the true character of great teams, great players and great people, is when you come back in on Monday morning and you’re brighter than you’ve ever been, you work harder than you ever have.
Why? Because the chips are down a little bit. I’m not going to judge Marek today, I’m going to judge him on Monday morning when he walks in the building, and I hope he looks me in the eye, and I hope he shows me from the first minute of training until the end that he’s going to improve and he’s going to keep going.
That’s not just Marek, that’s what I ask of all the players. Today can happen to anyone, you can have bad days, you can off days, of course you do, but the most important thing for me is that every single one of them comes in, doesn’t point fingers, points the finger straight back at themselves and works harder than ever to put wrongs right, have a big week next week, and let’s go to [Derby on] Friday and see what that brings.