Scott Parker defended Steven Sessegnon for his crucial mistake in Fulham’s 2-1 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest.
The Whites had been pushing for an equaliser in the second half but a lapse in the teenage right-back’s concentration allowed Sammy Ameobi to nick the ball into the path of Lewis Grabban, who decisively doubled Forest’s lead – in what was only Sessegnon’s third senior appearance in the Championship.
However, while his possession-based philosophy has won many plaudits, Parker was quick to point out that his preference of playing the ball out from the back will not always come off perfectly.
“The second goal comes from a mistake from us, which is one of those things,” he said. “I take responsibility for that, because it’s the way I want us to play and that can happen sometimes.
“Steven has been top since the day he’s walked in pre-season. It’s his third game and mistakes happen. But, like I said, it’s not Steven Sessegnon’s fault. It’s my fault, if anything. I take full responsibility for that.”
The result stymied Fulham’s momentum after their midweek drubbing of Millwall at Craven Cottage made it three wins in a row, and Parker was ultimately left frustrated by his side’s slow start and lack of clinical edge on the day.
He added: “I don’t think there was a big difference in performance. There was a big difference in scoreline, obviously.
“I felt like we controlled the game but I was disappointed with the way we started. In the first 10 to 15 minutes, we were on the back foot a little bit.
“After that, we looked a real threat. I always felt comfortable in the way we were playing, certainly in possession. The chances didn’t fall our way, really.”