David Prutton reveals key concern about Fulham ahead of AFC Bournemouth match | OneFootball

David Prutton reveals key concern about Fulham ahead of AFC Bournemouth match

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Football League World

Pundit David Prutton believes league leaders Fulham are at their most vulnerable at the back when they are comfortable in games, accusing their defence of being too relaxed at times in the Sky Sports EFL Podcast.

These comments came after the Cottagers dropped points away against Preston North End at the weekend, conceding a controversial 72nd-minute equaliser with two potential handballs heavily contributing to Ched Evans’ close-range finish.

The visitors had taken the lead at Deepdale through Tim Ream within 15 minutes – but failed to build on their lead against Frankie McAvoy’s men and ultimately suffered the consequences of that with their late concession.

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Considering Preston’s current position and the fact they had lost 2-1 against previous Cardiff City in their last home match, this was a game Marco Silva’s side would have expected to take all three points from in their quest to secure automatic promotion and a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

However, they were unable to show why the two clubs are currently 16 places and 18 points apart in the Championship table and will have been disappointed in themselves to concede, even with the controversy surrounding the Lilywhites’ equaliser.

Going into Friday evening’s crunch match against title rival AFC Bournemouth, Sky Sports pundit Prutton has highlighted a key weakness he sees in the west London outfit at the moment, and it’s something the Cherries could exploit in their mission to win three points and climb to the top of the table.

The 40-year-old said: “The worrying thing that you see sometimes with Fulham is they can be quite overly-relaxed at the back and I don’t think its a conscious thing.

“I just think perhaps subconsciously in games where they feel comfortable, they allow that to slip in.

Going on to elaborate on this problem, the ex-Sheffield Wednesday man added: “Mitrovic sometimes looks unplayable, but in games such as Saturday where it almost feels like it’s too easy for them at times, that’s where they are going to be very vulnerable.”

The Verdict:

Prutton does have a point because the Cottagers have dropped points in a couple of games they have dominated this season – and the Preston game shows this issue is still there.

In fairness to McAvoy’s side, they showed real promise at the weekend and went close a couple of times through the exciting Emil Riis, but this is a game Silva’s side would have been expected to win as mentioned, perhaps losing their concentration for the equaliser because of that.

You could argue they felt too comfortable during their games against Blackpool and Reading earlier in the season, two games they lost despite dominating, though their inability to be clinical against the latter also has to be cited as a reason for their downfall.

It does seem slightly harsh to pick up on the league leaders’ defending considering they have only conceded three goals in their last nine league games, but concentration and focus will be key in retaining that type of record.

This will be especially important if main scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic is ruled out for an extended period of time at any point this term, because it may take a while to adjust in the final third if he becomes unavailable.

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