Parker ‘bitterly disappointed’ but takes heart from Knockaert cameo

Scott Parker said he was “bitterly disappointed” after Fulham’s opening-day defeat at Barnsley but was encouraged by Anthony Knockaert’s display after coming off the bench.

The Whites were beaten 1-0 at Oakwell, where Luke Thomas’ early goal was enough to give Barnsley the points.

It was a stark reminder of the challenge Fulham face in their quest for promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

“In the first half we were pretty slow to second balls, lacked a real intensity at times and looked a little short,” boss Parker admitted.

Fulham struggled to create chances before the second-half introduction of summer signing Knockaert, who looks certain to be a major asset for Parker’s side.

Parker said: “I thought he was superb. Anthony has come in late and is probably not up to scratch in terms of fitness, but certainly in the short spell he was out there he produced quality which we’ll be looking forward to seeing more of.

“We came on strong in the second half, caused them problems and could’ve got one back, but it wasn’t to be.”