Joachim Andersen admitted Fulham’s derby day defeat was ‘tough to take’ after a gallant display saw the Whites match Chelsea for much of the ninety minutes at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
The Danish defender, outstanding at the heart of the Fulham back five again, was disappointed that his side walked away without a reward for another diligent defensive display, especially considering how well they had coped following the dismissal of left wing-back Antonee Robinson just before half-time. Andersen told FFCTV after the final whistle that he felt Scott Parker’s gameplan had worked well in the first half:
I felt that in the first half we started well, but in the middle of the first half we sat down a little bit too much and they had the ball a lot but I didn’t feel like they created big chances. I felt that we were comfortable and in the last part of the first half, we played some really nice football and had a big, big chance. So, with a little bit of luck, we are 1-0 up but, of course, the red card changed a lot.
He was not concerned with Chelsea having a lot of the ball and said that Fulham have been working hard on their defensive shape at Motspur Park:
I think it is normal when you play against good opponents and that’s what we’ve been good at. In the recent games, we are comfortable at being behind the ball and be ready to counter – and when we can, play some nice bits. Today we showed that we can do that.
Attention swiftly turns to another tough test against Manchester United with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side heading to London for Wednesday night’s fixture:
Luckily, we have one more day to prepare, but of course, it is a huge opponent as well and I think they are quite similar to Chelsea. Again, we have to switch on and we have to be ready. We need to get some points and Wednesday is a good chance.
Andersen insisted that the Fulham squad has a strong spirit and that belief remains high despite the end of their six-match unbeaten run.
I think it is really, really good the way everyone is fighting. Since I came, I feel everyone wants to be involved, everyone wants to play, everyone wants to show their qualities. It is unbelievable how much the offensive players [put in] – they work so hard and that makes it easier for us guys at the back, so I’m really happy with everyone.