Pres­sure on Clem as run rolls on

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alex Brodie

PAUL Cle­ment is ner­vous about Derby’s pro­mo­tion chances af­ter their win­less run ex­tended to seven matches at Craven Cot­tage.

A own goal on de­but from Marcus Ols­son had put the home side in the lead be­fore a bril­liant Craig Bryson vol­ley lev­elled things just be­fore the break.

A draw did lit­tle for ei­ther side with Ful­ham four points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and Derby with­out a league win since Box­ing Day.

Cle­ment ad­mits to feel­ing the pres­sure, but re­mains con­fi­dent his side are still in the chase.

“There’s not one game where I’ve stood on the side re­laxed,” the head coach said. “There’s seven or eight teams clus­tered at the top, the pres­sure’s on now.

“But dur­ing this run, we’re in fifth place, five points off top.

“We have to be­lieve that we can go on a run. It’s still tight, that’s one pos­i­tive we can take from this. If the per­for­mances and re­sults had been bet­ter then maybe this would have been seen as a valu­able point. But it’s not what we wanted.

“You could see the lack of con­fi­dence and fragility from both teams in spells.

“We started brightly, their goal came against the run of play. It was a good ball, but we’d have hoped to have got that away. Ours was a fan­tas­tic goal. It could have gone ei­ther way.”

The vis­i­tors started pos­i­tively and went close when a Johnny Rus­sell free-kick was headed against the bar by Richard Keogh.

Tom Cair­ney, on the right for Ful­ham, then looped over a cross, but Lasse Vi­gen Chris­tensen’s header was de­flected over. Then the open­ing goal came when Scott Car­son played his Derby midfield into trou­ble with a poor throw out.

Luke Gar­butt was played in and his cross struck Chris Baird and can­noned off the flat-footed Ols­son, who joined from Black­burn last month, and went in.

Ful­ham, with­out a clean sheet in 18, grew in con­fi­dence and be­gan play­ing the best foot­ball seen un­der Slav­isa Jokanovic.

But on the stroke of half-time, Chris Martin hooked in a ball from the right and Bryson volleyed past Andy Lon­er­gan.

A dis­ap­point­ing Moussa Dem­bele went close, but headed wide from a cor­ner when well-po­si­tioned. Ross McCor­mack was de­nied by Car­son and also fired into the side-net­ting.

Rus­sell was then sent through, but the winger was ex­cel­lently de­nied by Lon­er­gan.

Cyrus Christie went on a wind­ing run past sev­eral Ful­ham play­ers be­fore his fierce shot was turned over.

Cair­ney shot just wide in in­jury time to leave both clubs look­ing for their first win of 2016.

The Cot­tagers have not beaten a team in the top half in 16 at­tempts, but Jokanovic is not wor­ried.

“We will keep go­ing and I will find my first vic­tory next week against QPR,” he said.“The club, the staff, the fans, the play­ers are try­ing to help me and have helped me from the start.”

On for­ward McCor­mack, who was linked with a move away, the Ser­bian said: “Ross is our key player, all the play­ers and fans be­lieve he can do an im­por­tant job for us. He is work­ing very hard and happy.

“I am not happy be­cause we did not win.

“We tried to play a dif­fer­ent way, but in the sec­ond half we tried to be more brave.We im­proved.

“As a coach, the only happy end­ing is win­ning the game and we didn’t win.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

TROU­BLE: Derby’s Chris Martin puts pres­sure on Ful­ham de­fender Dan Burn

LINE-UPS

Lon­er­gan 6

Richards 7 Burn 6 Amore­bi­eta 8 Gar­butt

7

Cair­ney 8

Ince 7

O’Hara 7 Chris­tensen 7

McCor­mack 6

Dem­bele 5

Weimann 4

Martin 5

Rus­sell 7

Bryson 7

Baird 7

Hen­drick 6

Ols­son 5

Shack­ell 7

Keogh 7

Christie 6

Car­son 5 SUB­STI­TUTES FUL­HAM Ka­caniklic 45, 7 (Ince); Smith 75, 5 (

Dem­bele); Parker 85, N/A (Chris­tensen).

Not used: Lewis,

Fred­er­icks, Ream, Labyad DERBY: But­ter­field 66, 5 (Baird); John­son 72,

5 (Bryson); Black­man 76, 6 (Weimann).

Not used: Grant, Bent, Ince,

Warnock

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