Fulham 0-5 Watford
Kit Symons was happy with Fulham’s second-half performance despite seeing his side humbled at home to Watford.
A hat-trick from Troy Deeney and two goals from Almen Abdi condemned Fulham to just their second defeat in nine games.
But the major turning point in the match was the red card for Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli. Manager Symons refused to use that as an excuse and was happy to see his players fighting until the final whistle.
“I said to the players at half-time that we cannot feel sorry for ourselves and let our heads drop,” he said.
“I told them they need to play with passion and play with pride for the shirts they’re wearing. They needed to show character and they did that in the second half.
“Although 5-0 is a heavy defeat, it wasn’t a capitulation, certainly in the second half I thought the boys showed real character.”
Fulham had to survive an early onslaught before Abdi scored his first with a deflected free-kick in the 15th minute.
Shortly after, Matej Vydra was brought down by Bettinelli who received his marching orders. Deeney struck the resulting penalty straight down the middle, beating substitute keeper Gabor Kiraly.
The Hornets striker than added a third after the break with a low strike before Abdi scored his second of the night with a moment of inspiration.
The midfielder cut inside on his right foot and curled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. Deeney then completed the rout in stoppage time with a well-placed finish.
Fulham remain 16th in the Sky Bet Championship and Symons admitted that his side are still a work in progress.
He said: “You’ve got to try and learn from it. Every game – win, lose or draw – you’ve got to learn from it.
“There’s quite a lot we can learn from this and it’s obvious there’s a lot of hard work and a lot of improvement still to be done.”
Feature image courtesy of Treevis, with thanks