Getting to the Playoffs in 2018

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Here’s a look at what we likely need to do in order to qualify for the playoffs. The assumption all of this is based on is that 75 points is typically enough to make the top six. While this isn’t always true, it happens often enough that it is a reasonable target.

    In the first half of the season we got 32 points with 8 wins, 8 draws, and 7 losses. To reach 75 points we’ll need to score 43 points in the second half of the season. That will require a significant improvement in our form. We’ll need 11 additional points and increase our points per match from 1.4 to 1.9. Interestingly, a 1.9 PPM is exactly what we did in the second half of last season. There are a couple ways to get there, but let’s say that a second half record of 12-7-4 will do the job.

    There are a few things that we can improve on in the second half to help reach this goal:

    1. Turn draws into wins, especially at home. This was the formula to our success last year. In both halves of last season Fulham had 5 losses. The difference was that we had four fewer draws and four more wins in the Spring of 2017. This season we’ve gotten far too many draws at home particularly against the top teams. We have not yet beaten a team at Craven Cottage that is currently ranked above us. Instead we’ve drawn 4 times and had 1 loss against those teams. To get to the playoffs we need to get wins against teams like that at home and keep our losses down. Ipswich happens to be our next home match and that is the kind of team we need to beat to have a realistic playoff shot. Other teams we should look to win against rather than draw are Aston Villa and Sheffield United. This is particularly important to help us climb the table since it allows us to close the distance with those teams in front of us.

    2. Stop losing to relegation teams on the road. Our away form has been pretty good, especially when we face teams ranked #2 (Fulham is 3-0 in those situations). We need to keep that kind of performance going, but we also need to stop blowing matches against teams in danger of relegation. In the first half of this season Fulham lost to the two weakest teams we faced on the road – Burton Albion and Sunderland. We need to get wins against their equivalents, Bolton and Birmingham City, when we visit them later this year.

    3. Score more at home. Our four wins at home so far were by just one goal; too close for comfort. We only have 13 goals at home while many teams above us are around 20. We could increase the number of goals by being more efficient with our shots or by improving set pieces. Fulham takes lots of shots, but way too many of them are off target. Fulham only gets ¼ of shots on target at home while getting 1/3 on target away. I don’t know why we can’t seem to find the target consistently at home, but we need to get better. Because we maintain a high amount of possession (second highest in the league) we get a fair number of set pieces, yet we’ve only converted those into 2 goals at home.

    As we go into the second half of the season those are the things I’ll be looking for to see if we still have hope of reaching the playoffs again. The win against Cardiff was a great start.
     
    #1
  2. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Location:
    A City by a Bay
    Thanks, MicahMan.
     
    #2
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Good work Double M. But I think I can sum this thread up in three words: Win more matches.
     
    #3
    BarryWhite and encorespanish like this.
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