Fulham are facing the prospect of playing “eight games, eight finals” in their attempt to stave off relegation from the Premier League, according to manager Scott Parker after his side’s 2-1 home defeat to Leeds United on Friday.
The defeat to Leeds was the third in four games for Fulham following a strong resurgence which made the third and final relegation place a mystery after seeming all but certain for months. With eight games left to play, not only do Fulham trail 17th-place Newcastle United — their opponents on the final day of the season — by two points, but they’ve played two more games than the Magpies thus far.
The battle is one of the uphill variety, and given the nature of their performance against Leeds, there are questions to be asked about whether or Fulham are up for it — quotes from the BBC:
“Disappointed tonight, we didn’t deserve anything from the game and the best team won. we huffed and puffed and were probably fortunate to go in at 1-1. We have a massive chance just before they score but the best team won tonight. We struggled at times and that was disappointing.
“The way Leeds play they make it end to end, they want it like a basketball match. We spoke about cool heads in those moments but we struggled with that at times. I’ve said after losses we payed really well but that wasn’t the case tonight.”
“We’ve got eight games, eight finals. We’ve put ourselves in a great position. Very disappointed with tonight but this is a little blip. We regroup and come back fighting like we have for the rest of the year.”
Up next for the Cottagers is a tricky trip to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa following the upcoming international break.