I know every Fulham fan shares my feelings about the Cardiff City defeat at the weekend. It was a massive game and so to come away with nothing was very disappointing and it makes the task in front of us that much harder.
It was frustrating to concede just before half-time but when we equalised I thought we would push on for the win. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. When you’re losing away from home and you score that goal to draw level then you’d hope that would give you the confidence to go on and maybe win the game, or at least get something from it. Coming away with nothing just heaps a lot more pressure on the lads to get a victory against Newcastle United on Saturday.
It was also quite frustrating that the crucial second goal from Steven Caulker came from a set-piece which is obviously not good and the Manager will be really disappointed with that, as the players will be, too. That’s been our problem, conceding silly goals all season, and it’s just carried on really.
Everyone said before the match with Cardiff that it was a must-win game; I thought it was a must-not-lose game. We’ve lost that now, though, and we have to dust ourselves off and keep fighting until the end of the season. Regardless if we win, lose, or draw, the players need to wear the shirt with a bit of pride and try and get what they can out of our remaining matches.
I think we just need to get that first win under our belts, then we can concentrate on getting the others. The pressure has already mounted on the Newcastle game due to the fact that we didn’t get anything away to Cardiff. A lot of the cynics are saying that Fulham are the first ones down but it’s up to the players and the staff to galvanise everyone and try and get that win. It’s all well and good saying we need five or so wins to stay up, but we need to get that first victory on the board. You can then build on that and take the confidence from it, but it makes Newcastle a massive game. It’s an uphill battle now but if we don’t beat Newcastle it’ll be an even bigger one.
If you keep going without a win it just adds more pressure. You don’t know what Newcastle team you’re going to face on Saturday; are they going to be on it or will they have an off day? Regardless, they’ve got goals in them, so it’s going to be another tough, tough game. Our home fixtures are vitally important, though, so let’s make sure we’re 100 per cent behind the boys on Saturday.
We’re at home so the players need to give the crowd something to shout about. The last two away matches have seen the Whites fans travel in great numbers, and we now need to replicate that atmosphere at Craven Cottage. I’ve been involved at Fulham since 1996 and we’ve always had a great away following. I can remember superb away trips at Blackburn Rovers, Carlisle United and Huddersfield Town – those were great days but even at rubbish away games our travelling fans still turned out in their numbers. So I think the supporters are doing their utmost to get behind the team but it’s understandable if people get a bit despondent. At the end of the day, this season has been very unlike Fulham; we’ve been on a bad run, but hopefully we can turn that around.