Scott Parker praised his Fulham side for defending ‘heroically’ as the Whites were narrowly beaten by Chelsea in the west London derby having played more than 45 minutes with ten man.
The home side were so close to holding on to a precious point against their near neighbours, even after Antonee Robinson was given his marching orders for a reckless tackle on Cesar Azpilicueta in the dying seconds of the first half. Fulham’s brave resistance was only broken by Mason Mount’s winner with ten minutes to play. Parker, although desperately disappointed with the defeat, felt his team were excellent in nullifying Chelsea’s star players. He told his post-match press conference:
I thought we defended heroically. We defended very, very well really and it is a shame that they got their noses in front. You’re playing the clock a little bit second half. You get to 78 minutes and you’re thinking, can we hold on?
But overall I’ve got nothing but admiration for my team for the way they played. Certainly first half we limited them, and 10-15 minutes before the sending off we were well in the ascendancy. We missed a big chance with Cavaleiro, and when you’re us with those chances against these sorts of teams, they need to go in. And then the sending off changes the game, obviously.
Parker avoided overtly criticising referee Peter Bankes for his decision to send off Robinson – and admitted he would be discussing the incident with the American international in the coming days.
The reaction of my players, they seemed very shocked that the ref was going to give a red, but I honestly don’t know and I wouldn’t want to comment because I haven’t seen it to make that real judgement. I’ve just left the changing room so I’ve not seen it. The game becomes a lot different for us.
Where we were growing into the game, we really got to grips with Chelsea and caused them some real problems, and Antonee was at the forefront of that with the way he was playing. He defended very well and certainly was a real outlet for us, so of course that changed the game.
I want every single one of my players to play right on the edge, I want to be aggressive, I want to be competitive. And at times when you are on that line, sometimes players may step over that. If that’s the case today then that’s the way it is. Antonee will learn from that and understand that. Without being on that edge, we’re not going to be competitive. It’s disappointing because it’s probably a needless tackle but we’ll go again and dust ourselves down, and get ready now for United.
Admiration is great. They deserve it. We have improved everywhere since the start of the season – except upfront. But draws aren’t good enough, Scott. We need the occasional 3 points and we’re never going to get them as long as you continue to play a winger who wasn’t good enough for the Championship as our lone striker in the top division, arguably, in the world.
You have allowed us to go into this season with one striker in the entire squad. As if that wasn’t bad enough, that guy, having lost form and confidence, has been replaced by Cavaleiro who lets us down week after week. Leaving aside his header against Spurs-which I am convinced was a fluke and, probably, the only time I have seen him head a ball on target since he first joined-he lacks so much else and, as well as an inability to take chances, cannot even hold up play satisfactorily.
The result is that we are the only team in the Premiership playing every week without a proper striker. How crazy is that?
The window opens and one would expect that the club would have identified the player(s) needed to address this glaring problem and move quickly to rectify the situation. Not so!
We have to endure more heartache against top opposition-and drop even more points -until, last night, Cavaleiro’s dire performance only served to highlight our desperate need. I can only imagine how the rest of the team feels. They play their hearts out-and full credit to them -only to be let down by Fulham FC”s inability to act swiftly and decisively to fix this huge problem. By Fulham FC, I mean Tony Khan. He is the guy pulling all the strings. I hope he reads this and responds (which, from time to time, he does). Tell us what you have been/are doing to ensure that we have a decent chance of Premiership survival. We’d love to know
Charles is bang on. TK has done wonders with getting the defensive players he has in but was way too late in doing so. 6 games had already gone by. We now have 17 games gone by and no centre forward. It’s all too slow.
Same with Parker. He is too slow to react. Was too slow to take Bryan out of defending, too slow to deal with Cav. He is also too slow to react in games with subs. With BDR suspended Cav will play again next week and Bryan will be back in. Let’s hope he can stay in position. I noticed Bryan jogging back again yesterday after losing the ball a couple of times. We hit the jackpot with what we spent to get the back 5 and keeper. If we go down, which we probably will, you have to look at TK and Parker. Getting a bit tired of Parker lecturing what it takes to succeed in this division and how experience and ability counts as if he is some expert. As a player of course he is. As a managememt team he and TK are raw and learning on the job for sure.