Senior Coach Stuart Gray was left frustrated with the manner of Derby County’s goals in Fulham’s 2-0 defeat at the iPro Stadium on Boxing Day.
Level at half-time against the promotion-chasing Rams, Fulham fell behind when Johnny Russell was allowed to get to the byline before his cross hit Tim Ream and Emerson Hyndman and found its way past Andrew Lonergan. Fulham had chances to get back into the game but Jacob Butterfield made sure of the points to take Derby to the top of the table with a late second.
“At half-time I said it’s not as if Derby are cutting us up,” said Gray. “But we were giving the ball away far too cheaply in dangerous areas. We had two or three good chances to get our noses in front but we’re playing against a very good side who are full of confidence.
“To concede the goal in which we did was poor defending. But it’s the story of our season - it’s taken a double deflection and ended up going in off the boy Hyndman. I was disappointed with how far Russell got into the box without a challenge. He’s whipped in a cross, it’s hit Tim Ream in the chest and then Hyndman.
The Whites have now gone nine games without a win and remain without a Head Coach but Gray said: “We can’t use that as an excuse, all we can control is what happens on the pitch. Decisions are being made by the people upstairs. I can’t fault the players’ effort and commitment, but at the moment we’re probably being undone by not being clinical enough in front of goal and not defending better when we’re in possession of the ball.
“We go again on Tuesday against a Rotherham side who won 4-0 today. We have to be braver and better with the ball. Until told different, I’m expecting to be in charge.”