Fulham boss Scott Parker simultaneously lauded and criticised his team’s display against Chelsea, and offered an explanation for Aleksandar Mitrovic’s delayed substitution despite their desperate need for goals.
Fulham fought bravely, but suffered another damaging blow to their faint chances of avoiding relegation. Parker’s men tested Edouard Mendy on a number of occasions in the first half, but each time the rangy goalkeeper was equal to the task.
At the other end the irrepressible Kai Havertz could not be stopped, bagging a brace to showcase why he is one of European football’s most highly-rated young stars.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Parker said: “Of course we’ve not got a positive result but in terms of attitude and desire we got that. And I got a performance. We’ve seen what this team are about and we put our stamp on it.
“Of course, overall, that quality from Chelsea came through in the two goals. But honestly I’m nothing but proud of my team. In the last few weeks there have been some disappointing performances.
“I understand the questions but you take every game as it is. You need a performance and I got that today. But, like a few times this year, we’ve fallen short and this was one of those moments.
“It was a poor first goal, a long ball from 50/60 yards really, no pressure. But saying that we had good chances. My team was on the front foot, were aggressive, showed quality but fell short at crucial moments.”
Parker explains delayed Mitrovic substitution
Despite Fulham’s desperate need for goals, Parker did not introduce Mitrovic to the action until the 81st minute.
Explaining the late call to arms for the Serbian, Parker added: “I didn’t want to change too much too quickly.
“The goals came at a bad time for us. I always thought we were in the game, had a good energy and what we did today I was very pleased with.”