Parker ‘proud but disappointed’ after Fulham defeat

Boss Scott Parker said he had mixed emotions following Fulham’s narrow defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester United.

A stunning Paul Pogba goal turned the visitors’ fortunes around after Ademola Lookman gave the Whites an early lead and Edinson Cavani pounced on a slip-up from Alphonse Areola to equalise.

With his side now without a win in eight league games and sitting four points off safety, Parker expressed his lament over their continuing wastefulness in front of goal.

“I’m proud but also disappointed,” he said. “The players are disappointed as well. We managed to get our noses in front tonight, then a mistake and a 35-yeard screamer from a world class player has defined the game.

“We had the first big chance of the second half and a couple after that – they need to go in the net. We need to take those chances, really.

“We haven’t managed to do that tonight. We haven’t managed to do that enough over the course of the last few games.

“It’s certainly an area where we need to get better, and we will do that.”

The Whites got off to a promising start on a blustery night at Craven Cottage, with Lookman playing through the middle in the absence of Aleksandar Mitrović, who has not been at his best this season and sat out the last two fixtures with a hamstring problem.

While there was concern over their defensive strength at the beginning of the campaign, that run of eight matches has only seen four goals in Fulham’s favour, including an own goal.

It is an area that Parker is looking to strengthen in the second half of the campaign to stand a chance of survival.

He added: “At the start of the season, we saw where we needed to improve as a team. The players have worked relentlessly in training to be more solid and give ourselves a platform in games.

“Now that box seems to have been ticked, but we need to look at the other side and how we can really take our chances in big moments in games.

“That will probably be the difference for us.”