Parker delights in Fulham's ability to dig in and keep their points tally on the move
Scott Parker admits his players were a little jaded after their exploits against Liverpool – but that the point against Brighton was full of good signs.
As well as a clean sheet in Wednesday night’s game at the Cottage, the Whites’ boss took great satisfaction from the way his side resisted strong second-half pressure from the visitors and still took a valuable point.
His team also dug in well without the considerable lift of home support, which was such a feature of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the champions. This time, new coronavirus regulations meant there could be no fans to urge them on.
“Yes, I think it was definitely a step in the right direction,” Parker said.
“I felt tonight we probably lacked a little something. We looked a little bit jaded and I recognise that maybe we need to play better, certainly with the ball.
“And they put us under big pressure, certainly in early parts of the second half, but we weathered the storm as we maybe haven’t done throughout the season – so I’m very pleased with that.
“It’s a clean sheet and we’ve also had a couple of big, big chances.
“Of course, we came into it wanting to win, but it was an even game and a fair result, so we are taking small steps and they are positive ones and we need to keep maintaining that.
“It’s a massive positive. It’s been well documented that there have been times this season where we go 1-0 down and 2-0 down. It’s vitally important [to dig in] or it gives you an uphill task.
“They generated a lot of pressure through set plays but I thought we withstood that very well and were always in the game.”
Parker added: “We did look a little bit flat. I think after the weekend game, this has come around very quickly and obviously the effort and amount of energy put into that game on Sunday probably had a little bit to do with that.
“Also, the atmosphere generated on Sunday was incredible and all of a sudden it was sterile in a dead stadium that we’ve all been accustomed to and it’s human nature that without that buzz and real energy, it can bring it down. We’ll have to get used to that again for the time being.”
A vote is due today on whether Premier League clubs are to introduce five subs as the rest of the Football League – something the elite clubs with bigger squads have been calling for.
Parker is still in favour of just three subs but understands the need to think of player welfare.
“We need to work out whether there is an issue with player well-being and if the stats are suggesting that, then I understand that,” he said.
“Champions League sides have more depth in their squads. There was a vote at the beginning of the season on three subs and I still stand by that.
“For a club like us, that’s how I’d want it to be because obviously for the bigger teams, it’s more helpful. That’s me trying to be competitive.”