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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Fulham defender reveals cause of optimism after costly lapses

Calvin Bassey is backing himself to overcome the teething problems he is experiencing at the heart of Fulham's rearguard - and says he is buoyed by the manager's faith.

As a naturally left-footed player, the 23-year-old Nigerian - a £19m summer acquisition from Ajax - has not found it so easy taking up a position on the right side of defence alongside Tim Ream.

While he has looked sound in repelling attacks, distribution has been a problem and he acknowledges he was at fault for stray passes which went punished in a 2-0 defeat at Spurs last week.

Another mistake almost led to a goal for Man United in the Saturday lunchtime defeat at Craven Cottage.

But the Italian-born Bassey has the confidence to tough it out and says Marco Silva's trust is key.

"The Premier League's one of the best leagues and when you make a mistake - like two mistakes in the Tottenham game, it's two goals," he said. "But I just get better each time and I'm just happy that the manager still trusts me.

"I'm just trying to improve and get better each game. I just back myself really to give my best. It's good here. The boys are top. As I've said before, it's like a family, and we try to keep the family together.

"Of course it's different [in my new position]. With each game I think it's getting better you know - picking which passes to make, when to make them.

"Obviously when I'm opening up on my dominant side, it's a bit less natural, so it's about picking the times when to open up, when to play the short one or go a bit longer."

Like his team-mates, Bassey was left cursing Fulham's luck as a late lapse by Joao Palhinha gifted a winner for Bruno Fernandes in injury time. The Whites had been the better said but paid the price for a lack of a cutting edge.

"It's always annoying, just when we thought we were going to leave with something, it gets shattered right at the end," Bassey said.

"The boss reminded us that we were very unlucky both games last season [against United] and that it was time to re-write history, sort of. But again we were unlucky. It's just the fine details.

"You always try to take advantage [when opponents are off form] but we just wanted to go out there with our game plan and do what we'd prepared.

"I thought we did that well at times. We had a couple of chances as well. Collectively we could have done better for the goal, that's how we look at it."


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