Fulham beat Wigan yesterday at Craven Cottage 2 -1. This was an important victory for the team. Fulham have not performed great lately in the league. I really believed they needed the 3 points and the victory. As a review I like to go back and look at my keys to the match. Were any of my "keys" important in this match? Below is an "analysis of my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Wigan."
1. Fuham need to be up by at least a goal or maybe more by the half. Well, we will see if this key affects them in the match on Thursday. My feelings going into the match was to be ahead at the half might give Hogdson the ability to rest players in the second half. This key was more about the big picture and this Thursday against Wolfsburg. I also thought if they were up at the half it would really hurt the confidence of Wigan. Since they were down at the half I would imagine that Wigan was feeling pretty good coming out for the second half. For Fulham's sake being down might have gotten the players to dig a little deeper, and really push harder in the second half.
2. I am looking for Stefano Okaka to start and make an impact on the match. Okaka did not start, but there is no question he made an impact. He scored a goal and I thought he was pretty physical up front. Maybe Roy will give him a chance to start in the next couple of weeks. I would like to see more of Okaka rather than less.
3. What kind of lineup changes will there be tomorrow? To my surprise there was only one change to the lineup of significance. Bobby Zamora was the only player who rested in this match. I think the lack of lineup changes was a positive yesterday. I thought the team played well especially in the second half. Players like Hangeland, Hughes and Murphy could have been rested. If Hangeland is not playing, Wigan might have scored a goal on a flick that went over Schwarzer's head. Hangeland was at the net and headed the ball away. I am happy that there were not many changes yesterday.
4. Fulham need to take advantage of the Wigan defense with Gary Caldwell out. I thought Fulham did take advantage of the Wigan defense. Both goals that were scored could be considered soft. Okaka and Hangeland both took advantage of Wigan. I wished there were a few more opportunities though.
5. If Chris Smalling is playing tomorrow on defense he needs to be solid. Chris Smalling did not play. If he did play for Hangeland would he have made that header to keep a shot out of the net? Chris Smalling will probably get more playing time at the end of the year. Let's just hope he does play solid in the future as long as he is a Fulham player.
In concluding this was a match that Fulham needed to win. On most of my keys Fulham did succeed. The club picked it up in the second half and did what they had to for the win. It is now on to Germany. I can't wait for Thursday.