RYAN SHAWCROSS admits that last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at home to Norwich City was a set-back for the Potters, but believes the side are more than capable of getting things back on track at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Jonny Howson’s first-half strike secured the Canaries all three points at the Britannia Stadium last time out, inflicting a first home defeat upon boss Mark Hughes, who was appointed as manager in the summer.
Shawcross acknowledges that he and his teammates were well below par on that particular occasion, but insists that they will be looking to bounce back when they travel to the capital for the second time this season.
“It was incredibly disappointing for us in many aspects, and it was a massive set-back for us because we were desperate for a positive result from that game,” he told Stoke City Player this week.
“We were convinced that we were good enough to go out there and win the game, but it just shows that if you aren’t at the races on any given week then you will struggle, no matter who the opposition is.
“They closed us down, gave us no time on the ball and stopped us from playing the way that we wanted to, so you have to give them some credit for that.
“Teams will try to do that this season now that we have changed our way of playing, so the thing for us is learning to play against teams who do that, and find ways of getting through them and creating opportunities.
“It’s important for us to not just try and play one way, and the manager has emphasised the importance of this to us this week. We need to have different ways of playing, and unfortunately we weren’t able to execute that against Norwich.”
He added: “That result is behind us now though and we are firmly focussed on going to Fulham on Saturday and getting a more positive result. It will be tough because they are a good side, but we will go there and look for the victory.”
The 25-year-old says that supporters should take note of the quality within the Fulham camp, rather than their somewhat surprising current spot in the Barclays Premier League table.
“They are down there at the moment, but they are still a very good side with some top class players in the squad,” he added.
“In this league all it takes is one or two bad weeks and you can drop from the top eight to the bottom five or six, that’s how tight the division is.
“We will go there in a positive frame of mind though because it has been a good start for us this year, despite the one dip we had last weekend.
“As I said though, they have players like Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent and Scott Parker, so we know it will be a very tough afternoon for us, where we will need to be at 100 percent to get the result we desire.”