Fulham assistant manager Stuart Gray felt the Whites ‘let two points slip away’ after their goalless draw with Southampton at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Gray, a former Southampton manager, was in joint-charge on the touchline with first team coach Matt Wells after Scott Parker was forced to self-isolate following the news that a member of his family had tested positive for coronavirus. Gray, who spoke to Sky Sports after the final whistle, said he was proud of Fulham’s strong performance against high-flying opposition but believed they could have snatched a late victory:
Very much so. I just spoke to the manager – he’s disappointed that we haven’t got the three points. Some of our play deserved the three points. You could see at the end of the game, the Southampton manager’s reaction – I think they were happy just to get the point. We probably just let ourselves down in the final third with our final ball at the times but the effort, the commitment from the players was fantastic and that’s four games unbeaten now and in the Premier League that’s a big achievement.
Gray feels that Fulham have now adapted to life in the top flight having made a difficult start – and was full of praise for the spirit shown by his players.
Probably just the turnaround and having enough time with the players. They’re all buying into it now, working so hard off the ball to win possession back. Today, the effort and the commitment was fantastic – just that last piece of the jigsaw was putting the ball in the net.
He also felt both Southampton’s goals, ruled out for offside, wouldn’t stand.
They say these things balance themselves over the season, but we were very confident that the lad was offside. You could tell by our defender’s reaction. It is one of these moments. You’re holding your breath thinking, ‘Will it go for you?’ and the fourth official helps, just to let you know the goal hasn’t been awarded.
Gray revealed that Parker had been in constant touch with his two lieutenants as he watched from home – and the Fulham boss should be back in dugout when the Whites travel to Tottenham next Wednesday.
He was on the phone on a regular basis, telling us what he wanted to do regarding the substitutions as well. He’s just spoken to us there in the dressing room and again at half-time, he spoke to the lads as well via the computer.
Suggestion to you for the next match Mr Gray if you don’t want to let two points slip away again…..
…..Don’t choose your Centre Forward to be someone that has scored ONCE in 32 games and gives the ball away 28 times in 90mins (official). Just a thought.
Very light weight upfront we will have lots of the ball in matches and lose or drp 2 points.King from Bournemouth or Gayle from Newcastle a must in the new year,orgo for Deene from Watford,wenow have the defence and midfield but with no striker we will go down having played well
I don’t know if any one agrees with me but they should have played mitro or Kami up front as all we kept on doing was crossing the ball.
Mitro would have absolutely buried that chance that Cavaleiro wasted. Shame after such an encouraging performance.
Was swearing at the TV for the second home game running for Mitro and TC to come on. So lightweight up front (and several having poor games) and to give Mitro just 8 minutes that is mismanagement. He came on and immediately made a difference. Look at our next 3 games this one was a big chance to grab a vital win. Poor from the manager.
Yet again we were let down by the same three suspects: Loftus Cheek, Decordova Reid and Cavaleiro.
At least, Cavaleiro has the excuse that he is being played out of position. Scott Parker said that, had Cavaleiro not been injured last week, he would have formed part of a dual strike force alongside Mitrovic -away from home. Yet, come a home game against a weakened Southampton side, where all three points were there for the taking, he resorted to the lone figure of Cavaleiro upfront. To further mystify us, Cavaleiro -our lone striker- was taking free kicks and corners!
I get that Parker sees something in Cavaleiro, re the speed of our counters, that the rest of us fail to see. I get that Cavaleiro may just be a stop gap until the window re-opens and, finally, we can all be put out of our misery and a decent quality, mobile finisher can be recruited BUT, now, I read that Parker only expects us to be signing loan players -if we bring in anybody at all.
We have a solid keeper, solid defence and two thirds of a solid midfield. We have NOTHING upfront and we are crying out for this to be rectified and it MUST be a priority. Until then, despite tremendous work rate over 90 minutes, we will continue to drop points through a failure to score goals.
Tom Cairney was preferred against Newcastle and, by his own post match admission, did not perform at his best due to lack of playing time but he was restored to the captaincy only to be dropped once again in the very next match in favour of Loftus Cheek. No consistency!
Loftus Cheek turned in yet another sub-par performance and it seems that Parker just can’t choose between the two. Most supporters would prefer our own player rather than someone who is content to stroll through a game and talks regularly of his intention to return to Chelsea.
Decordova Reid has slotted manfully into a strange defensive position of late and has contributed with the occasional quality finish but, yesterday, his ventures forward too often resulted in mis-aimed or over hit passes/crosses that consistently gave Southampton the advantage.
My one last gripe is in the lack of changes that Parker allowed. But for VAR on two occasions, we would have been behind before Parker deemed a substitution necessary. It was obvious to all and sundry that we needed to change things up, if not at half time, then definitely after 15 minutes of the second half had passed with Southampton in the ascendancy. Not for the first time this season, we had to wait until it was virtually too late to make a difference before a substitution was made.
No doubt, we will hear, yet again, that we are on a run of unbeaten games, kept a clean sheet etc etc. All very good but we need to grab the occasional THREE points instead of settling for ONE if we are to remain in this division.
Agree with the other guys sometimes our first touch was not very good and every time they got tackled once again the ref blew up, do they know it’s a contact sport desperate need for another top striker,Mitro and Cairney should have played whole game,our loan signings are doing Ok other than Loftus-Cheek I keep hearing from Parker about what a great asset he is again,,he is becoming a liability and the quicker he goes back to Chelsea the better, we must try and sign Andersen and Lookman permantly Areola,Aina,and Lemina have done Ok I am beginning to like Lemina could form a formidable partnership with Anguissa with Reedy as cover, good to hear Kenny Tete is fit again where Parker will play him I don’t know, could provide crosses for Mitro and Kongolo will we ever see this guy play