By 90Min
August 21, 2017

Now, Fulham are without a win in the 2017-18 Championship campaign so far, and four games into the fixture list the need for three points could not be any greater.

The Whites lost 1-0 at Craven Cottage to Sheffield Wednesday after three successive draws, and a number of the club's faithful on the terraces have been dissecting the performance, with some supporters even cascading into meltdown, but should the alarm bells really be ringing down by the river already? 

A moment of relative clarity should put a few niggling doubts to bed.

Slavisa Jokanovic's men have arguably been handed the most testing start to the Championship season, with the opening five games coming against clubs which at the start of the campaign were banded to finish within the top eight, at least. Basically, a loss was inevitable and the disappointing defeat at the hand of the Owls will only surface as an invaluable learning curve.

Wednesday, like Fulham, are themselves aiming to right a few wrongs from the previous season as they also missed out on a trip to Wembley, the encounter on Saturday was always billed to be a painfully close occasion, but let's face it, it was hardly a humiliating drubbing, regardless of the Cottagers' lack of creativity in the offensive third. Saturday's lacklustre showing was more of a sobering ordeal.

Fulham dominated the first half but failed to find the back of the net, and have been duly criticised for their reluctance to fire in-front of the target. Devoid of fresh, cutting edge ideas, 'Slav's' men found it increasingly difficult to carve-out viable opportunities, but Fulham fans must adopt a true sense of patience, as frustrating and patronising as that may resound.

A catalogue of dangerous chances in the opening 45 minutes went wanting through Sone Aluko most notably, and on another day for Fulham they would have seen the majority of them fly within the sticks. If anything it seems that Lady Luck was simply absent, fundamentally there's certainly no real cause for concern just yet.

Pressure has been needlessly heaped upon Rui Fonte's shoulders as well, and the Portuguese striker has barely been given time to unpack his bags following his switch to south west London from SC Braga.

Without singling out Fonte and unintentionally labelling him as a scapegoat for Saturday's shortcomings, it was indeed a collective error and Tom Cairney even emerged after the final whistle to say that the whole camp will have to 'knuckle down' - Steven Fletcher's winner was soft, so the preparation at Motspur Park will have to be centred around making the formation rigid in all departments, especially in the defensive third.

Fans have been saying that the former Arsenal and Crystal Palace man looked 'lost' and 'out of his depth', but time will always be a telling element and after effortlessly notching 15 goals in all competitions for his former employers, it won't be long until he dusts off his shooting boots once and for all - he is the perfect target-man and is suited to football at this level, and will undoubtedly prove his worth.

With a roster of new acquisitions all raring to put their stamp on proceedings, the team will need to gel if it's going to come to fruition and although Fulham were somewhat predictable against Carlos Carvalhal's squad, they still administer some of the most intricate and potent football in England's second division, a formula which is surely edging closer to boiling point after lukewarm start, admittedly.

FRANCISCO LEONG/GettyImages

Ipswich are up next in the league, and if Fulham are going to finally grab their first three points of the season it's got to be against the Tractor Boys, who themselves are surely due to drop some points after crafting a flawless start to their respective campaign - all good things must come to an end, though. Sorry, Mick McCarthy. 

A win in the Carabao Cup when the Whites grapple with Bristol Rovers on Tuesday could also surface as a catalyst for success - so, with the season barely out of the starting blocks, keep calm and back Slav and co. to rekindle their tantalisingly prolific form in the coming weeks.

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