Scott Parker has described himself as “bitterly disappointed, hurt, gutted” but is committed to Fulham – provided the club show the desire to break their ‘rollercoaster’ cycle.
Defeat to Burnley on Monday confirmed their relegation to the Championship, which came on the back of promotion the previous season.
Parker said his players cannot be faulted for their commitment, but a lack of quality cost them their place in the top flight.
What has been said?
“I am bitterly disappointed, hurt, gutted,” Parker told Sky Sports.
“While this has been looming over us for some time now, there are no words at this present time to describe this other than I am gutted that we have not been successful this year.”
Microcosm of a season
Fulham revived their hopes of survival with a five-game unbeaten run through February, while they beat Liverpool at Anfield at the start of March to get back in touch with the likes of Newcastle and Brighton.
However, they picked up only one more point from the six games that followed victory at Anfield.
Although unlikely, they had an outside chance of survival had they beaten Burnley – but they delivered an abject display and were comprehensively outperformed by Sean Dyche’s side.
“That game summed up the season,” Parker said. “In between both boxes this year we have had our moments and looked a good side, but where we have fallen short is the other side of that.
“Tonight, defensively the two goals are poor goals. And while we get the ball in the right areas, in those clinical moments you need the final details, the weight of the pass and the clinicalness to score goals and we have fallen a little short.
“You need more than effort and we just lacked that bit of quality.”
The need to break the cycle
Fulham are threatening to become a yo-yo club. They were relegated from the top flight in the 2018-19 season, only to bounce back immediately last term.
Relegation for the second time in three seasons is a concern for Parker, who suggested he wants commitment from the club to learn from their mistakes.
“We need to work out very quickly as a football club where we went wrong this year,” Parker said. “We are on a rollercoaster at the moment: relegation, promotion, relegation.
“We need to get off that cycle; we need to make some big decisions, where we need to improve.
“I have been committed since I came here. That has always been the case.
“What is vitally important for me is we sit down, we analyse, we learn and we are brave enough to put our hands up and admit where we went wrong.
“We can’t go through the same cycle. We have to break that cycle and work out what we need to do to move this club forward.
“My aim is to come into this league and stay there, then move the club forward. That is going to be key.”