Fulham enter the international break with a lot of things to ponder following their surprise 4-1 defeat at Coventry City on Saturday in the Championship’s early kick-off.
Marco Silva’s side went into the game aiming to build on their impressive performance in their 3-1 win against Swansea City in midweek at Craven Cottage.
That result had seen them bounce back from taking just one point from a possible six against Bristol City and Reading.
Things started well for Fulham at Coventry with Silva’s side taking the lead after 18 minutes after Kyle McFadzean’s own goal was allowed to stand by the officials despite a potential foul from Aleksander Mitrovic in the build-up to the goal.
However, Fulham were unable to build on that and in the end were pulled apart by a rampant Coventry side in the second 45 minutes.
The defeat saw them drop down to fifth place in the league and leaves plenty of issues for them to sort in the next two weeks.
Here, we take a look at THREE things we learnt about Fulham following their 4-1 loss to Coventry…
Fulham’s players showed a potential vulnerability in handling setbacks in games
The second 45 minutes at Coventry clearly highlighted a vulnerability in the mindset of Fulham’s squad that we have not seen from them in their previous ten Championship games this season.
Silva confessed to the media following the second half collapse from his side that he was surprised with the way that they responded to the pressure that Coventry put them under at times in the second period.
Fulham can be aggrieved with the decision to award Coventry their penalty just a few minutes after they had got back on level terms.
Matt Godden did not appear to be fouled by Antonee Robinson but went over and then compounded that by scoring from the spot himself.
However, Fulham never recovered from that setback and it will be a major concern that instead of going again they went into their shell and allowed Coventry to take the game away from them.
It was perhaps a major lesson for Silva that he needed to learn.
He will now have the chance to work with the squad during the international break to try and help them deal with setbacks in games better than they did at Coventry.
Quiz: Have Fulham ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
Paulo Gazzaniga’s place in the side could now be under threat to Marek Rodak
Another thing that we learned from Fulham’s defeat at Coventry is that Paulo Gazzangia might potentially have opened the door for Silva to consider giving Marek Rodak a run back in the side.
Gazzaniga has been Fulham’s clear first-choice keeper in the Championship since he arrived at Craven Cottage in the summer.
He enjoyed a bright start to his time with the club in his opening few games and the 29-year-old has been averaging 1.9 saves per match in his 11 appearances.
However, against Coventry, Gazzaniga did not command his penalty area as well as Fulham needed to during the periods where they were being pushed back and put under real pressure.
The keeper was able to make just one save and one punch. Fulham needed a little more from their keeper to relieve the pressure on their goal at times in the second period than that.
Whilst the defeat can not be blamed solely on Gazzaniga, there will now be some doubts over whether he can command his box as much as you need your keeper to do in the Championship.
Rodak is a tried and tested option at this level to turn to. The Slovakian was a crucial part of the side that earned promotion to the Premier League in 2019/29 and he kept 13 clean sheets in his 33 league appearances.
It might be time for Silva to consider giving Rodak the chance to come back into the side and show what he can bring to the table.
Fulham need to find a way to come back from behind to take points
It has not happened many times this season so far in the Championship, but whenever Fulham have gone behind in a game so far this term in the league they have ended up on the wrong end of the result.
Fulham have been beaten by all three teams to have taken the lead against them so far in the shape of Blackpool, Reading and now Coventry.
If you are going to win promotion from the Championship then those kind of moments where a team goes a goal behind are crucial in terms of how they can react to dig out a result.
Coventry were in complete control of the game from the moment. They got into a 2-1 lead against Fulham on Saturday and it looked likely that Silva’s side would get back into the contest.
There are some really tough matches to come for Fulham following the return to action after the international break, not least their derby clash with QPR.
In those games, they are going to have to show that they do have the character to respond to setbacks in games and still come away with a result.