Test Of Character

Monday 30 December 2013 10:30

David Stockdale says that the players have to accept responsibility for Saturday’s defeat at Hull City.

After a goalless first half at the KC Stadium, the 28-year-old goalkeeper admits the team were left ‘shell-shocked’ as the hosts scored six goals in 35 minutes. But with our heaviest Premier League defeat dealt and key matches on the horizon, Stocko insists that the Whites need to regroup and move on.

“It was a crazy second half, and we were left totally shell-shocked,” said David to fulhamfc.com. “I don’t think we stuck to our principles, and when the second goal went in the game really started to slip away from us.

“René [Meulensteen] has very high standards and we just didn’t meet them, which is a shame because I thought we had turned a corner. The win at Norwich City was important and we really thought we could do the same at Hull.

“Okay, they have a good record at the KC Stadium, but the performance and result was totally unacceptable. We didn’t play as well as we know we can, and all we can do is apologise and learn from the experience. We’ll go over what went wrong, and make sure we address what happened.”

With just a day’s rest between the Boxing Day fixture at Carrow Road and our trip to East Yorkshire, Meulensteen made six changes to his starting line-up against Hull - who Stockdale made 24 appearances for whilst on loan last season.

“I think the gaffer was right to rest a couple of players,” he added. “The run of games over Christmas is a busy period and that’s why you have a squad to choose from. You need to mix things up and it was an opportunity for others to come in.

“I’d come in for Maarten [Stekelenburg] against Norwich, so this was a chance for me as well. I always want to do well, that goes without saying, so this was extremely disappointing. It really hurt, and anyone that didn’t feel that way doesn’t deserve to be in the team.

“We’re not little kids, we’re experienced professionals and need to accept responsibility. So we’ll take this on the chin, dig deep and go again on Wednesday against West Ham United - that’s the focus now.

“We can’t dwell on the defeat too much, though, and the gaffer will make sure that we go into the game at Craven Cottage with as much confidence as possible; that’s what he’s like. We felt that we’d turned a corner so, of course, we feel like we’ve been knocked out of our stride.

“The next couple of days will be a big test in our character, but I believe we have what it takes. We need to fight for everything, and show the desire to get back on track.”