Fulham lost yesterday 2 - 0 against Hull City at the KC Stadium. In my opinion, Roy Hogdson resting several key players had an impact on the match. There were other reasons for the loss as well. After each match I like to go back and look at my "keys " to the match prior. Maybe there are some clues for the loss in my "keys". Below is my "Analysis of My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Hull City."
1. Fulham need to score early and set the tone for the match. Hull ended up scoring first in the first half. There is no question that Hull leading at the half set the tone for a victory for the Tigers rather than the Cottagers. Fulham had chances to get back to level two times in the first half. They were not able to. Shortly in the second half, Hull added another goal. On the road I think this key is important every game. Fulham definitely failed here.
2. If Bobby Zamora cannot play I hope Okaka will start. Bobby Zamora did not play. I was expecting to see Okaka start, but he was on the bench. He did not come in until the second half. I would have liked to see him play the Bobby Zamora role the entire game. Okaka is still figuring out the English game. If you are not going to play Zamora, why not give the young Italian player the most playing time possible? To me he needs more time to feel his way around rather than less. I think with more playing time will lead to being more comfortable. Hopefully, being more comfortable will lead to goals.
3. Fulham again need to be better against set pieces. Fulham gave up a goal on a penalty kick by Jimmy Bullard. I don't know how much you can blame Mark Schwarzer for this goal. It was more about the play that led to the penalty kick that was the issue. Besides the penalty kick, Fulham seem to handle the set pieces. There was actually a great save by Schwarzer on a free kick by Jimmy Bullard.
4. Fulham need to watch out for Jozy Altidore. This key to me was one of the reasons for the loss. Chris Smalling did pull down Altidore in the box that caused the penalty. I thought Chris Smalling did not play well overall. Fulham's mediocre play against Altidore was more than just that one incident. He was giving the Fulham's defense fits a good deal of the match. He was a physical presence, and he also made some nice passes.
5. Fulham need to control the midfield. Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu and Damien Duff not playing to me were a factor in the match. Kagisho Dikgacoi I thought struggled. However, the midfield wasn't the real problem. The real issue was the final third. Fulham were moving the ball up, but just couldn't convert on there opportunities when the ball got up to the final third.
In conclusion, my #1 and #4 keys were definite factors in the match. To win on the road Fulham need to get out front early. They also need to do a better job on the strikers of the opposition. To me though, the biggest factor of the loss stems from who did not play yesterday for Fulham.