Scott Parker urges Fulham to be brave in ‘ruthless’ Premier League

By Sonia Twigg, PA

Scott Parker believes Fulham “need to be brave” but insisted his side have a “clear identity” as they prepare to take on fellow newly-promoted side West Brom on Monday.

The Cottagers suffered a fifth defeat from their opening six Premier League games in a 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, despite having 64 percent of the possession.

Fulham remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with a single point, but they are level on points with Sheffield United and Burnley, and just a point behind 17th-placed West Brom.

Parker is aware his side need to eliminate mistakes and called on his players to show bravery.

“I say concerns it’s just more an understanding of where we are really,” Parker said.

“At this present moment in time you see the errors at times and you see the mistakes and how ruthless this league is and that’s obviously an ongoing from my behalf and the team that you need to be brave in these situations.

“What I mean by brave is you need to see certain negatives and certain efficiencies in the game where you need to improve and you need to stand up and realise that and put your hand up on the Tuesday, Monday and come in and work it and keep trying to improve that.

“(In terms of) the positives, I see a clear identity about my team, I think the first six games, there’s been a lot of bright things, there’s been a lot of good things, a lot of things that I’ve been really impressed with.”

Fulham’s only point this season came at Sheffield United, the one game where they have taken the lead, and were denied victory thanks to a late Billy Sharp penalty, but Parker insisted striking first was something his side were working on.

“It’s something we’re aware of, we were aware of that last year as well and it’s something we’re very conscious of,” the 40-year-old said.

“Scoring first is key and in this division even more so and for a team like us scoring first and giving us something to hang on to, certainly in terms of more of a mentality side of it, something to hold on to is key and I think we all realise that scoring the first goal in this division is massive.

“History tells us that with this team and it is something we’re working on, psychologically but certainly we’re in the top league now.

“Last year, scoring first and then being able to maybe scoring two free goals to still win a game was a lot easier than it is this year and we understand that and we need to be a bit solid.”