MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 11:50:17

Cyrus Christie admits Fulham need to improve their finishing

Cyrus Christie admits Fulham need to improve their finishing
© Reuters
The Cottagers have only scored 16 goals in 18 games.

Cyrus Christie is convinced Fulham can pull off a Premier League escape if they can find a killer touch in front of goal.

The Cottagers kept their first clean sheet of the league campaign in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Newcastle, a drab affair during which the home side failed to trouble goalkeeper Sergio Rico once.

They might have emerged with a rare victory had either former Magpie Aleksandar Mitrovic or substitute Aboubakar Kamara managed to make the most of late opportunities at St James' Park.

And Christie knows that is where they have to improve as they prepare for home clashes with Wolves and Huddersfield.

Christie said: "They are two big games. We are getting better as the games go by. We're defending well, but we just need to score a few more goals now and keep the clean sheets and I'm sure we'll be fine."

Fulham left the north east with plenty of positives after manager Claudio Ranieri opted for the first time to field a three-man defence, but wondering what might have been.

Christie said: "It was a hard-fought draw. We had chances at the end there, but when your luck is out, that's what happens.

"We defended well, it's a clean sheet and it's a point on the board. If we had won, the table would look a bit better, but we have got two home games coming up now and we need to make the most of them."

The draw took the club's points tally into double figures – they now have 10 from their 18 games – but they remain at the foot of the table, if only by virtue of goal difference behind Huddersfield and Burnley, who are two points better off.

In the circumstances, the Terriers' visit to Craven Cottage on Saturday could prove hugely significant, although it is Wolves, who lost 2-0 at home to leaders Liverpool on Friday evening, who are the initial focus on Boxing Day.

Fulham have won only once in their last 15 league games and a change in fortunes against one of the sides with which they came up from the Sky Bet Championship at the end of last season would provide a major boost.

However, Ranieri said: "[Manager Nuno] Espirito Santo is doing a very good job – I watched the match against Liverpool and Wolverhampton played fantastically.

"They created two or three great chances in the first half and Liverpool at the end won the match. It will be another tough match for us."


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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