Scott Parker believes Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa finally showed what he can do – even though the midfielder was unable to prevent Fulham from taking another step towards the Premier League trapdoor.
Title-chasing Liverpool ultimately proved too strong for the Whites, even if they refused to buckle after trailing to a Sadio Mane strike and drew level through Ryan Babel before succumbing to James Milner’s late penalty.
Cameroon international Anguissa, 23, has been a symbol of a failed summer transfer policy which saw too many new faces added to the Championship squad and, at £22.3m, he has been seen as a failed extravagance.
But, restored to the side for only his 12th start of the season, Parker agreed he turned in his best display yet for the Whites, having taken a while to adapt following his move from Marseille.
“I definitely do,” said Fulham’s caretaker boss. “I thought Frank was superb today. He’s had a difficult time, obviously, coming in on a big transfer fee. Probably getting up to speed with the league has been difficult at times.
“But you look at all the top teams, whether it’s Man United with Fred, or Liverpool with Fabinho early on in the season, they’re not playing too much because they’re trying to get up to the pace of the Premier League.
“Us as a football club need Frank straightaway really, but he just needed time to settle in, and certainly today, I thought he was first class. He did really well and I’m really pleased for him.”
The 2-1 defeat made it three losses in Parker’s first three games in charge – with Manchester City to come next – and Fulham’s temporary manager concedes he may need wins to land the role full-time next season.
“I understand that in this position I’m in, my main focus is putting out the team and seeing improvements, but at the same time I understand it’s about results really,” he said.
“I want results more than anyone really. Do I see an improvement in the players? For sure I do. The reality is we need to fight and try and get some results.
“As long as the players have the same focus and the same determination like they have this week, then for sure I know that although we can lose to Man city – of course we can – as a team and as a club we can be in a better place.”