‘GIVE ME TIME’ URGES KIT AS AXE HOVERS
KIT Symons was left hoping for more time as Fulham manager after a desperately poor performance saw his side humbled at home by Birmingham.
The Cottagers are stuck in midtable despite a large financial outlay since their relegation from the Premier League in 2013, and the Fulham board have grown impatient with their inability to challenge for a promotion place.
Nothing had been confirmed by the Fulham board at the time Symons spoke to the press, but when asked if he expected to be given time to turn things around he said: “That’s what every manager wants in football, it’s a bit of time to get things right.
“Sometimes you’re given it, sometimes you’re not. There were two boys this week who weren’t given the time to implement their ideas and get things right.
“That’s what I want to do. There has been a lot of change at this football club. I understand people getting a bit restless because of the lack of consistency.
“We’ve put in some exceptional performances lately, but then we’ve had some poor ones as well and this was a very poor one, I’ll put my hands up to that.”
City had failed to score in their last three league games, but they made up for lost time by hammering Fulham with three goals in 12 first-half minutes.
Stephen Gleeson opened the scoring 19 minutes in, beating Joe Lewis with a 25-yard strike.
The Blues got a second from the penalty spot three minutes later, with Paul Caddis converting after Lewis felled Clayton Donaldson.
The Whites’ terrible showing continued as Jon Toral fired home a third after Jacques Maghoma did well to pull Caddis’ through ball back from the byline and into the Arsenal loanee’s path.
Jamie O’Hara rattled Tomasz Kuszczak’s crossbar as Fulham threatened for the first time since Tom Cairney had caused the Pole to scramble away a shot just before Gleeson’s opener.
O’Hara was lucky to escape censure just before half-time as the officials missed a malicious elbow to Toral’s face. However, Fulham left-back James Husband was dismissed after the break, after he committed two clear bookable offences in as many minutes.
It would be stretching it to say Fulham played better with ten men, but the introduction of big striker Matt Smith from the bench injected some impetus to the home side at least.
Smith hit the upright on 62 minutes with a fierce low drive from the edge of the box, and his knockdown allowed fellow substitute Alex Kacaniklic to pull one back for the Whites four minutes later.
Donaldson’s goal put the game beyond any remaining doubt, but there was still time for both sides to score in injury time through Ross McCormack and Viv Solomon-Otabor’s first senior goal right at the death.
Birmingham boss Gary Rowett said: “We’ve got a really honest bunch and we’ve all got faults, but we stick together and work incredibly hard.
“We’ve had three games where perhaps we’ve not been quite as good or been as free-flowing as we can be.
“I asked them for a little bit more attacking quality here because we’ve not been ruthless enough in the final third, but I didn’t quite expect such a good performance to be honest.
“I have to say, despite going in at 3-0, in some ways I felt we let Fulham off the hook because we got into some brilliant positions when we broke.”
ON THE SPOT: Fulham goalkeeper Joe Lewis brings down Birmingham striker Clayton Donaldson for a penalty, which Paul Caddis steps up to score, inset