Garry Monk reflected on what he called Wednesday’s “schoolboy defending” following our 5-3 defeat at promotion-chasing Fulham today.
After trailing by three goals at the break, we rallied to make a game of it in the second half but, when we gave ourselves some hope of a comeback, we promptly conceded again and left Monk angry at the level of defending.
H said: “It’s very frustrating, it was cheap defending for their goals.
“When we got back into it, it was schoolboy defending, which makes it frustrating with the clean sheets we’ve had recently.
“I believe there are players in the dressing room who can gain consistency. But they need to learn very quickly.
“The goals we are conceding are schoolboy goals that should only happen sporadically for any team throughout a season, not consistently.”
He added: “They are poor, poor goals. If you don’t make those errors you’re in better shape for a result. But in critical moments, when it’s a case of doing the basics, head that ball, clear your lines, we haven’t done it.
“We cost ourselves and that’s been too constant throughout the season and we’re a bit tired of it.”
Any hope of getting something out of the game looked to have disappeared inside the first 45 minutes when we trudged off at half time three goals down.
The home side took the lead on 10 minutes, Neeskens Kebano beating Joe Wildsmith at his near post with a low, long-range drive that the keeper might have done better with.
Just before the half-hour mark it was two when Fulham opened up our defence and Aleksandar Mitrovic strode through to slot past an exposed Wildsmith.
With Fulham dominating, worse followed shortly just before the break, Dominic Iorfa unnecessarily clattering Kebano from behind and Mitrovic firing home the spot kick.
We brought on Atdhe Nuhiu, Connor Wickham and Jacob Murphy at half time and the attacking changes soon had the desired effect, Nuhiu putting us back in the game from the penalty spot on 49 minutes after keeper Marek Rodak fouled Murphy.
It was a more even contest after that before Fulham restored their three-goal advantage on 73 minutes. Iorfa was harshly adjudged to have fouled Harrison Reed on the edge of the box and Kebano sent his free kick under the Wednesday wall and into the net.
Undeterred, we made it 4-2 four minutes later, Murphy’s shot from just inside the penalty area deflecting past Rodak.
Then, with a minute of normal time remaining, Nuhiu pulled us back to within a goal of the hosts, sending a powerful header into the corner of the net from Murphy’s cross for his 50th goal for Wednesday.
However, any hopes of getting a point were extinguished almost immediately, Bobby Decordova-Reid allowed to run to just outside the box and firing low and hard past Wildsmith to seal the points.
Even then, there was time for Reed to be sent off for receiving two yellow cards in the closing minutes and Adam Reach almost got us a fourth, only to be foiled by Rodak from close range.
Wildsmith, Odubajo (Murphy 46), Iorfa, Lees, Börner, Harris, Bannan, Pelupessy (Hunt 79), Luongo (Reach 75), Da Cruz (Nuhiu 45), Windass (Wickham 45). Unused subs. Dawson, Palmer, Rhodes, Waldock.