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Fulham cannot afford to get sucked into downward spiral – Scott Parker

Preston North End v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Fulham manager Scott Parker insisted his side cannot dwell on defeats in the Premier League as they prepare to play Aston Villa on Monday in search of their first point this season.

The west London club marked their return to the top flight with a 3-0 home loss to Arsenal early this month before being edged out by Leeds in a seven-goal thriller.

Parker said after the Leeds game that he thought his side were “too nice” at times and wanted to push them to be more aggressive, but warned against letting the defeats weigh on the minds of the players.

“Football clubs are always a lot better and the atmosphere and the mood is a lot better when you’re winning,” the 39-year-old said.

“But I think I’ve said this from the outset, and it’ll remain my main voice this year, that we’re going to lose football matches this year and we can’t afford them to really cripple us and we can’t take that into a really negative spiral.

“As much as we want to win games and we want to try and get points on the board, at the same time we need to stay quite level in what we’re doing.

“I’ve been involved in relegation teams and the one thing that gets teams relegated in the end is that spiral effect, that knock-on effect it has on you, and the dent in the whole atmosphere and confidence, team spirit and adhesion. In the end it saps you and it buries you really.”

Fulham’s defensive record has come under fire at the start of this season after they conceded seven goals in the opening two league matches of the campaign, although Parker said his side were not alone.

“I don’t think we’re the only team at this present moment in time who have let in some goals in the first two games, I think there are a few of us down there,” he said.

“Obviously not ideal, of course not, we understand that. Villa at home on Monday, it’s a game you want to try and get three points and we want to win, so that’s our aim and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.”

The Fulham boss has already made a number of signings this season, including full-back Kenny Tete and on-loan Paris St Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, but more names could be joining the club before the end of the transfer window on October 5.

“It (defence) is an area we’re looking to try and improve and trying to get players in and improve us as a team,” said Parker.