Fulham run of defeats 'just a blip' insists boss Scott Parker, as signs of pressure mount
Scott Parker has appealed for more perspective about Fulham's three defeats in a week, describing the run as a “mini blip.”
The Whites were hoping Saturday's west London derby at Brentford would see them bounce back from 2-1 defeats to Bristol City and Preston last week, but they were very much second best against the Bees.
The 1-0 scoreline barely did justice to the home side's superiority. They had the extra energy and carried a threat throughout, striking a post three times.
“We need perspective in the world,” said Fulham's boss. “It's something the world's missing now. I try to put perspective on what's happened in the last two weeks and we live in a world where fingers want to be pointed and in football even more so.
“Something goes wrong: He needs to come out of the team. Someone doesn't score after 30 minutes in a game: Why's he playing? Manager lost a game: He needs the sack. I totally understand that, but it's my job with this team of players to try and put that in perspective.
“Those thoughts and messages they are maybe hearing and seeing from our fans – you could see it today after the game. But it's those thoughts and disappointments I need to try and rationalise with my team. It's a blip. A mini blip.
“We've lost three on the bounce. Of course it's not ideal but how do you get out of it ? I'm going to fight and that's what I want all my players to do. If we do that, we still might lose but normally, nine times out of 10, you come through it.”
Losing to a side in great form like Brentford should not be viewed as a disaster “They're a good side. They'll be right up there this year,” Parker said. But the manner of the loss and the fact it came after below-par performances in the two previous games has cranked up the pressure on Parker.
The carefree days of a few weeks ago have been quickly forgotten and with expectation so high this season, given the quality of the squad, the pressure may be getting to the team.
“You see a team at the moment, and our fans, a little bit low really,” Parker said.
“That's what happens in football. Three weeks ago we were on the back of four wins and everyone was saying how great things are. I was doing really really well, everything was going great, the team were flying and in the space of three [games] it changes and we come out the back of three losses.
“It's disappointing of course and I take responsibility for that, of course I do, I'm the man that stands there on the sidelines, but ultimately, I said to the players there that we need to stick together at times like this and that's what we will do.
“In football you can lose two on the bounce or three on the bounce but the perception and maybe the world we are in today, it's one loss and fingers are pointed.
“You can see there's a little bit of a confidence issue at this moment in time.
“But I'm not going to point a finger at any one of those players. It's a slight blip. The reality is we still sit sixth in the league, three points off third.”
The Whites will be hoping to bounce back against second placed Leeds United on Saturday in a match now full of intrigue.
“Big week ahead of us, with a big game to come,” Parker said. “A massive game against a very good side who have done really well this year.
“I think the main aim and focus will be togetherness. Today I didn't see a team that folded, I saw every player try to play with a passion, a desire and a commitment . We've lost a game and I'm more disappointed and gutted than anyone and we have to put it right on Saturday now.
“These players have to stand up and be counted now.”