“We were too safe” – Fulham boss Scott Parker highlights key problem in derby loss to Palace

Scott Parker admitted that Fulham made too many ‘safe’ passing options in yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Tom Cairney produced a superb late strike for the west Londoners with Ademola Lookman hitting both posts in the first half.

But Fulham struggled to create too many openings despite having 64 per cent possession – with the Eagles having a serious threat on the counter.

Parker said: “There were some tempo issues, definitely.

“You’re playing against a team that often you’re up against nine, 10 players in front of you. You’ve got to move the ball, take them to the sides of the pitch – bring them from one side to the other to make gaps that aren’t there in the first phase. All of a sudden make them [the gaps] a bit bigger and then try and pierce them.

“When you do that and break between the lines then you’ve got to make good decisions. You’ve got to be clinical in those moments and not turn down certain attacks because before you know it another pass back, a wrong detail in the pass or how you receive the pass – you’re up against the block again.

“I felt we got into them moments but probably didn’t push enough. We were a little bit safe at certain times. The goal probably epitomises that. Tom Cairney steps in and hits one from 25 yards and it goes in. That’s a big learning today.”

Fulham struggled to contain Wilfried Zaha, who provided the assist for Jairo Riedewald’s first career goal. He then slide in at the back post to convert Michy Batshuayi’s low cross from the right.

Zaha had the beating of Whites right-back Ola Aina all afternoon.
Parker said: “He’s a world-class player who you see most weeks causes teams and individual players a lot of problems. That’s the quality he has. It’s what you’re going to face in a very good player.”

Michael Hector was once again missing from the Fulham matchday 18.

And Parker confirmed it was his decision not to inclue the centre-back.

He said: “No, Michael’s not injured. He’s just not around it at this moment in time.”

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