BY YANN TEAR
Fulham go into tomorrow night’s clash with Wigan Athletic determined to avoid the slip-ups which have seen winning positions frittered away in their last two games, according to Alfie Mawson.
The Whites were in charge at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday but dropped two more points after shipping a last-minute equaliser.
And Fulham’s £20million defender admits they need to manage games better, after extending their winless run to five games with that draw.
“We dominated the game. We didn’t make too many chances, for all the possession we had, but we should have won,” Mawson told the London Weekly News.
“We’ve got to be switched on when we do lose the ball or mistakes can creep in. We’ve got to learn how to see it out.
“The same thing happened against West Brom [two weeks ago].
“We took the lead, then got away from how we have to play. We need to stick to the way we want to play and manage the game better.
“At the end, we put the ball out for a goal kick and it gave them the chance to come back at us.
“It was a culmination of errors. They had the ball in the air most of the game and never deserved to get anything out of the game, but that’s football sometimes.”
The 25-year-old former England U21 international, added: “Everyone was on the right page and performed brilliantly against Millwall [a few weeks ago] but since then we’ve maybe had some fans thinking it’s back to the old Fulham.
“I understand their frustration, but we want to win the right way.
“Mistakes have killed us but we have to get better at finishing it when we get ahead.
“The results will return.”On the face of it, Fulham face the perfect opponents to get back on track at
the Cottage tomorrow.
They have not lost any of their past 17 matches against the Latics – the last defeat coming in October 2006 when a late Henri Camara goal gave the visitors a 1-0 win in west London in a top-flight encounter.
“Wigan is definitely a good opportunity for us,” Mawson said. “We believe we are doing the right things and as long as we put it right on Friday night, we will be back on track. It’s a good opportunity to show what we are about.”
The frustrations of recent results apart, Mawson is warming to the task and glad to be involved after enduring a fitful, injury-hit campaign last season during the club’s ill-fated year in the Premier League.
“Last season was very frustrating. I had injuries and knee surgery but I also felt I wasn’t good enough, by my standards,” he said. “You are going to have these periods in a career. You can easily find yourself going down the league.
“But you just have to suck it up and go again.
“I’m feeling like I’m the fittest I’ve been in my career. I worked very hard in pre-season and I’m having a good run of games now.
“I don’t get too worried about what the fans think and I don’t go out to prove a point. It’s the other players’ trust I want and I want to prove I can do it in this league.”
Mawson, who has three years left on his current contract, could face competition from Michael Hector in a few months.
The 27-year-old central defender, signed from Chelsea in the summer, is training with the squad and will be available in January, under the terms of the signing.
But former Swansea City man Mawson is not fazed.
“Competition is competition,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me. Nobody is assured of a place.
He [Hector] a good lad, who’s adapted very well. “He has experience and I’m sure he’ll be a really good player to have.”
Tickets are on general sale for tomorrow evening’s match against Wigan. Visit: fulhamfc.com/tickets or call 0203 871 0810.