In a match where Fulham were the strongest team for 70 minutes and where tactically we had the upper hand, it was very disappointing to leave with a defeat to table-topping Burnley. With Dembele, Garbutt and Parker fighting for the man of the match, here is a summary of the individual showings:
Lonergan - 6 - He did not have a shot to save and gave a commanding display for the most part, with good distribution. However, the first goal was a header from the edge of the six yard box and you have to question whether he should have tried to come and collect it. This is not a part of Longergan's game and hopefully Tim Flowers can help.
Burn - 6 - An ok performance from Burn. He won his headers and challenges and was part of a back three that looked comfortable. His weak header took him out of position for the third goal and he was also out of position for the attack leading to the penalty. He needs to be more commanding if he is to spearhead our back line.
Madl - 5 - A spirited display from Madl, who was comfortable on the ball. His man scored the first goal and he was turned by Gray for the third goal. Whilst the height and strength involved in those respective goals mean that Madl cannot be "blamed", he will be disappointed. Madl was visibly frustrated at the final whistle.
Amorebieta - 7 - Fulham's best defender again, this time without any reckless behaviours. Amorebieta won his headers, ruthlessly won his tackles and was also an attacking force down the left. His incisive pass forward lead to the second goal and although he fired off two particularly terrible passes, his distribution was assured.
Garbutt - 9 - An excellent display from Garbutt, who was a constant attacking threat and made the entire left-side of the field his own. His cross for the second goal was sensational and his deliveries into the box were consistently quality, but without a real aerial threat, such as Smith, there to add the finishing touch.
Fredericks - 7 - He was a constant cause for concern for Burnley, who doubled up on him after they realised how quick he was. At times his legs were faster than his thoughts and he stumbled, but he routinely tried to attack the full backs and typically had the better of them. His crosses were also of a high standard.
Parker - 9 - He gave the ball away twice, I remember them because they were so out of character. Parker was the star man in midfield, with a clever, composed and quality display on and off the ball. He asserted his authority on Barton by clattering him in a 50/50 challenge that reminded everyone who had captained England.
Tunnicliffe - 7 - A dynamic and energetic performance, which is what he offers the team. His work rate galvanised the team and the fans, with one particular highlight a fantastic tackle to stop a dangerous attack that moved immediately into him driving forward with the ball and creating a chance for Cairney on the stroke of half time. HIs toil also led to winning the ball and working it to Dembele in the immediate lead up to McCormack's goal. He tired towards the end, but merited his selection over O'Hara.
Cairney - 7 - Playing at the top of the midfield triangle, Cairney's link up play and quality on the ball was as impressive as ever. He gave away the penalty, which he did not seem happy about. Defence is not his game and if it was a penalty, he does not deserve any criticism for it
McCormack - 7 - Busy and keen, this was another good showing from McCormack. His movement and finish for the goal was of the highest standard. He was unlucky not to score with a few other chances over the course of the match.
Dembele - 8 - Almost unplayable at times. This was a showing full of maturity and a temperament destined for higher things. He was powerful in the air and ran at the defence at every opportunity. Dembele has looked raw for much of the season, but this was a shop-window performance. He did not get close to any of the crosses peppered into the box over the course of the game by Garbutt and Fredericks and merits some criticism for this, as the crosses were there to be converted. Still, he was very, very good.
Ince - 3 - A lethargic showing from Ince who came on for the last 15 minutes. Yes he was in a rather odd defender/midfielder position, but he looked nonchalant from coming on to the end of the game. He gave the ball away a couple of times and showed a edge of clumsiness that were visible on his debut. He didn't seem bothered.
Smith - 5 - He came on and won a couple of headers, including a header on target in the final few minutes. Smith came on and was desperate involved, but the chances did not come his way. Had he been involved earlier in the game, no doubt Smith would have scored a couple today. He will have been sat on the bench dreaming about what could have been from the crosses Fulham were whipping in.