KIT KEEPING FULHAM FEET ON GROUND
FULHAM’S fans might be looking up the table after a thumping win over Sheffield Wednesday but Kit Symons is refusing to get carried away.
Goals from Ross McCormack, Shaun Hutchinson, Lasse Vigen Christensen and a late Cauley Woodrow penalty ensured it was the most comfortable of afternoons at Craven Cottage.
But Symons knows that his side have a long way to go if they are to put their dreadful start to the seasons behind them completely and start dreaming of the playoffs.
He said: “We’ve been on a good run but you’ve always got one eye looking over your shoulder and that won’t change until you’re mathematically safe.
“There are a lot of good teams in decent form still behind us in the table, so I wouldn’t be conceited enough to think we’re out of that side of things.
“But at the same time we’re looking up as well. We’re in the kind of position where we can look both ways in the table.
“I’m very pleased with the result and performance.The most pleasing thing is that we started the game well and we haven’t done that enough recently.
“It’s another clean sheet as well. Our defending at times hasn’t been as good as it should be but that’s two clean sheets on the spin and that gives us a great platform to win games.”
Fulham raced out of the blocks and looked to apply pressure early on. Hugo Rodallega had a close-range shot blocked and Nikolay Bodurov headed over from a McCormack free-kick.
It was Sheffield Wednesday who had the first clear chance on 11 minutes when Chris Maguire’s corner fell to Tom Lees at the back post but the unmarked centre-half could only blaze over.
The hosts regained their foothold in the game and Rodallega went close again midway through the first half with a low shot that was tipped round the post by Keiren Westwood.
But the Owls keeper had no chance on 35 minutes after skipper Glenn Loovens brought down Seko Fofana 25 yards out, allowing McCormack to curl home a wonderful free-kick into the top corner.
The visitors battled back and almost equalised immediately when Stevie May broke through but his shot was easily saved by Marcus Bettinelli.
And they were made to pay on the stroke of half-time when Hutchinson rose highest to power in Bryan Ruiz’s free-kick from the right.
It was more of the same in the second half as Fulham took control of the game, and McCormack nearly repeated the trick on 52 minutes but curled another freekick wide.
Fulham did put the result beyond doubt after 67 minutes when a quick break from the back culminated in Rodallega and Christensen exchanging passes and the Dane slotting home.
And they rounded off the scoring in stoppage time when Woodrow drilled home from the penalty spot after Patrick Roberts had been hauled down by Claude Dielna, leaving Owls boss Stuart Gray frustrated with his side’s lack of scoring touch.
“It’s back-to-back games now where we’ve created chances,” he said. “We knew we could get down the sides of Fulham but at the end of the day you need to show more desire to get in behind to score a goal.
“The worrying thing is we’re not putting the ball in the back of the net to give the defence a breather.
“We’ve been very solid defensively and it’s unusual for us to concede two from set plays, but if you give them opportunities they have the ability to score.
“We’re not ruthless enough and we’re not taking responsibility. The players need to step up to the mark and start converting.”
COTTAGE HIGH: Fulham’s Ross McCormack celebrates. Inset: Shaun Hutchinson scores