BY MATT VERRI
Scott Parker knows his Fulham side must find a solution to their penalty-taking problems and put an end to their terrible run from 12 yards.
The Whites have missed their last three spot-kicks, all taken by different players. Aleksandar Mitrovic started the run of misses against Sheffield United, before Ademola Lookman’s missed Panenka cost the Cottagers a point at West Ham and Ivan Cavaleiro slipped as he ballooned his effort over the bar last time out against Everton.
And the Fulham boss admits it’s something that he’s looking at closely.
“There’s no denying there’s been a little bit of an issue, because if those penalties had have gone in they’d have contributed to maybe five more points,” Parker said.
“Certainly there is something we need to look at, and that’s something we are doing as deeply as we can.
“We’re trying to work out what the best processes are, in the same way as if you’re conceding a lot of goals from set-plays or were conceding goals due to a deficiency and working out the best solution. This is no different.
“There’s a psychology to it in terms of the player and how he feels. It’s down to who feels confident and who can step up, and we work from there.”
Parker will continue to put his faith in a group of players rather than designating a single taker for the rest of the season, but insists that group will be left in no doubt as to who he wants to step up next time Fulham win a spot-kick.
“I’m sure at Manchester United there’s four likely penalty takers, and that’s the same elsewhere at every football club,” he said.
“That group of players that we have taking penalties is the same as it was at the start of the season.
“There’s players in your squad who are very comfortable taking penalties, and there’s other who aren’t.
“It won’t ever be decided on the pitch in the moment who’s taking the penalty, I’ll be deciding during the week before games. I’m not going to give a name in terms of who will take the next one, but that decision will be a very clear one.
“I want every player when they get to the match to have real clarity – we are practising them, but we practice them most weeks.”
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