Fulham boss Parker hits back at critics

Scott Parker has hit back at his critics following Fulham’s dismal 3-0 defeat at home to Hull on Saturday.

Having picked up only five points from the past five games – and failing to score in three of those – the head coach “felt an edginess” in the Craven Cottage crowd, many of whom booed the Whites off the pitch.

While he admitted that the performance fell short of his expectations, Parker refutes the notion that his passing style of play is to blame.

“A lot of people say this team is a possession-based team, and they lack impetus. I do hear this a lot of the time,” he said.

“We are top with shots on goal in this division. This team is creating the most. We’re obviously doing something right.

“We’re getting the balls in the right areas. No other team in this league is hitting the target more than us.”

“I hear people saying that our possession game is slow,” Parker continued.

Fulham’s record under Parker

Played: 26
Won: 9
Drawn: 5
Lost: 12

“I could understand people’s reactions and their opinion to the way I want to play and the identity of this football team, and how I feel is the best way to win football matches, if we weren’t creating chances or hitting the target.

“But you can’t back up that argument. We’re hitting the target more than any other team in this division.

“It was not so much the case (against Hull), to be fair. They had a right go at us and caused us problems.”

Has Parker got a point?

While Parker’s assertion may have been true going into Saturday’s debacle, Leeds have since overtaken Fulham in that department.

It is notable, though, that Fulham have allowed the fewest number of shots on target against them in the league so far. Much of that has to do with the fact that it of course becomes more difficult for the opposition to score if they do not have the ball for extended periods of time.

It is also worth noting that chalking up six wins and five draws through the first third of the Championship season is perhaps not as gloomy as many have made it out to be.

For context: at this stage in their 2017/18 promotion season, Fulham won four Championship matches, drew seven and lost four under Slaviša Jokanović. Only one of those wins came at home – against Hull, coincidentally.

They found themselves 12 points off the automatic promotion places, compared to just five this season.

Understandably, the cause for concern comes from the consistency that has been lacking in almost all areas of the pitch, especially given the potential (and higher expectations) of the current squad compared to that of two seasons past.

The fact that the Whites are yet to beat a team currently ranked higher than 16th in a season with no runaway leaders by this stage, indeed, may also be alarming.

But Parker is nonetheless confident that his philosophy is more than capable of converting possession into points on the board.

He concluded: “The finger’s been pointed at me since the first game regarding possession.

“Yes, we do have the ball a lot, and that’s the way I want us to play. But ultimately, I feel that if we carry on like that, it will turn for us. And that’s the team I want us to be.

“I will stick with it, 100 per cent.”