Scott Parker prepared Fulham to cope with Leeds United's 'scripted' movements ahead of Craven Cottage win

Scott Parker said he prepared his Fulham team to deal with Leeds United's 'scripted' movements in the week leading up to today's Cottagers win.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 8:55 am
Scott Parker felt his side went into the game knowing what they needed to do (Pic: Tony Johnson)

Parker's men ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win, thanks to a disputed early penalty converted by Aleksandar Mitrovic and a fierce second half Josh Onomah strike.

The Fulham boss, who said he had not seen the penalty decision, insisted the points gap between the two sides did not enter his thinking as he prepared for the Craven Cottage clash.

"We didn't go into the game with any thought of the points gap or making it closer to Leeds," he said.

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"Coming off three losses, the most important thing was winning and putting in a performance. Last week was bitterly disappointing. We spoke all week about the preparation, what we needed to do to beat Leeds."

And what Parker felt his players had to do was prepare for the way Marcelo Bielsa has drilled his players to move when they attack.

"Leeds are the most athletic, powerful team that we see but the most structured and patterned team as well," he said.

"The movements they make are very scripted, we studied Leeds for many games. All week we drilled their movements, to understand what was coming, to know the movements when the ball went in certain places. If you don't they can cause you problems, they're made at serious pace.

"On the flip side, against a man to man team your only spare man is your centre half, so you have to dribble the ball and we did that well as well."

Bielsa felt it was his side that created by far the greater number of chances, but Parker was adamant that Fulham had given the Whites plenty to think about, en route to what was a vital victory, given their recent slump. Yet it was the character and desire he saw from the home side that delighted him most.

"Today I think to a man this team executed the game plan and caused Leeds many problems," he said.

"The over riding feeling I have is pride. I spoke to the players saying you're not getting judged today on technique or what a good player you are. People are judging you on what you are as a man, when the chips are down. If there's one thing you can say, your eyes often don't lie, I saw a team on the front foot, aggressive, showing passion and desire, that pleased me the most.

"When you stand on the sideline, one man's strength is never greater than a team of players out there. The team represented me and what this club is about really. We can lose matches, but there's a way to lose. Today we could have lost against a very good team but I want to walk off the pitch knowing they gave everything."