The dream of being off the bottom of the Premier League table, by Christmas Day, didn’t quite happen.
But getting a hard-fought 0-0 draw, away to Newcastle, gave us some positive points that give us hope that our return to the Premier League will not be for just one season.
For a start, for the first time this season Fulham managed to keep a clean sheet and for periods of the game, we looked a far better side than our opponents.
Talking to the media after the game and as reported by the BBC, Claudio Ranieri had a few words to say about the performance, remarking:
“It is very important for us. First half maybe we created more play and had possession well, but they had a very big chance.
“Second half we lost control and they were dangerous, but we had four or five chances on the counter-attack, so at the end I’m happy because every point we achieve is good.”
Indeed, every away point is good, it is back at Craven Cottage where we need to pick up the wins.
At St James Park, Fulham fielded a three-man central defence for the first time under Ranieri, something the Italian further commented on, adding:
“It’s the first time I’ve tried to play with three centre-backs and the players responded well.
“They were very solid against a physical team.”
Is a three-man central defence the way forward, or was it more of a one-off for the Newcastle game?
I guess we’ll find out, on Boxing Day, when Wolverhampton Wanderers are the visitors to Craven Cottage.
Previous article by Andrew Joyce