Blues go down to Fulham. Andy Munro finds some consolation.
To use a much-hackneyed phrase, this was never a four goal thrashing in terms of play, with Blues having more attempts on goal than the visitors. The difference was the two sides’ finishing, which was Premier League standard for Fulham as opposed to that of Blues, which was the EFL version.
Another key factor was the irrepressible Harry Wilson, who even at £12 million (a figure that Blues can only dream of spending) looks a bargain and who ran Jeremie Bela and Kristian Pedersen ragged. If there is a criticism of lee Bowyer maybe, after just fifteen minutes, he should have been looking at an alternative plan to try and shut the gifted winger out of the game. Also on the opening goal, when he was fouled what was Bela doing marking the imposing Odoi?
While there was never three goals difference between the sides and Blues battled commendably on the front foot, the gap in class was there to see. Ryan Woods had his most ineffective game to date and Marc Roberts had the proverbial mare. Harlee Dean was culpable for the penalty that put Fulham two up on the stroke of half-time, but generally both our captain and Maxime Colin were the decent part of a hard-pressed defence.
In front of them Ivan Sunjic battled hard but was a bit like a bee trying to sting a marauding elephant and when Gary Gardner came on there was a noticeable improvement in the middle. Tahith Chong wasn’t as productive as usual and at one stage should have passed to give the Juke a tap in. However, he was given no protection from a fairly hapless man in black.
Up front, the Juke won everything in the air but Scott Hogan never really took advantage, although in fairness he was well marshalled. It was good to see Troy Deeney and Chuka Aneke bgetting game time and with a bit of luck both could have netted from open play. At least Troy got off the mark with a ruthlessly despatched penalty followed by a wave to the Tilton hordes, who despite the heavy defeat gave the team a great reception at the end of the game.
It’s now important that we move on and get something from our next match, away to the Posh. It won’t be easy but it’s a game that we should expect something from if we are serious about being a play off contender. The big question is whether the manager will keep the same side to give everybody the chance to bounce back or alternatively make a few changes to freshen things up.