Verdict: Fulham’s fringe players had a point to prove – and proved they’re not up it

Fulham exited the FA Cup, losing 3-0 at home to Burnley in a one-sided game at the Cottage. 

It leaves the Whites to concentrate on the league, as the cliche goes.

These are the sort of games when those on the periphery can show what they’re made of.

You put in a shift, and who knows?

Josh Onomah, Mario Lemina, Abou Kamara and Michael Hector could all have made a case for themselves.

Did they? Nope, not even for a fleeting snowflake of a second – although Lemina is likely to bite at Harrison Reed’s heels.

It must be a bit deflating for head coach Scott Parker knowing that any challenge for places is dead in the water.

Even those who did OK-ish: Tim Ream, apart from a slip and a poor pass that led to the Clarets penalty, and Marek Rodak, are not going to replace those ahead of them right now.

In fact, Hector has gone from Premier League starter to fourth best behind Tosin, Joachim Andersen and Ream in the centre of defence.

Hector got an early runaround from Matěj Vydra, and then even managed to fail at a throw-in.

I think most of us could manage to throw a football onto the pitch, but Hector failed much to the officials’ mirth and was asked to have a second go.

When Jay Rodriguez opened the scoring, Hector didn’t know whether to stick or twist.

He did neither, and it was 1-0.

You know the game is up when Denis Odoi and Fabio Carvalho get minutes on the pitch.

No affront to either, but at 3-0, you might as well protect those likely to be in Wednesday’s squad against Brighton.

There was a surprise when the line-up was announced.

Andre-Frank Anguissa was a gamble with two big Premier League games on the near horizon.

Parker also said he would look at the form of the two youngsters, Sylvester Jasper and Carvalho before adding them to the bench.

Unless he knows something we don’t, the gaffer clearly didn’t see anything in Jasper to merit a second sub’s appearance in the cup.

Four of the starters will be odds-on to go head-to-head with Brighton on Wednesday night, and it’s not looking good.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is not going to replace Ivan Cavaleiro on this showing.

Neither is the answer to Fulham’s survival, and Mitro is all but going through the motions at the moment.

In his defence he wasn’t alone, because maybe the thought of Bournemouth or Crawley in the next round failed to set pulses racing.

But what you normally get from Parker’s teams is drive and energy regardless of the fixture. Not so this time.