The Bristol Rovers eliminated Fulham from the FA cup after winning 5-3 on penalty kicks following a scoreless tie in the replay. See the full write up. Fulham was not without chances and American striker Clint Dempsey was denied by Bristol's goalkeeper on two occaisions. There is no doubt that Bristol Keeper Steve Phillips kept the game scoreless. Midfielder Jimmy Bullard is apparently fully match fit and does appear to be something of a catalyst for the Whites.
Now that Fulham's FA Cup campaign is over, they can focus their attention preparing for the next 15 Premier league matches, which they are going to need to get some wins in order to avoid relegation. Up next is Bolton in a mid-week fixture next Tuesday.
In other news
Today is the day that Fulham and potential American striker Eddie Johnson are to appear before the work permit appeals board. If the appeal is successful, Johnson could join the club by the end of the week.
The rumor is that Marlon King's knee may keep him off of the Fulham roster.
The Bristol match gives quite the impression that Fulham is ready to turn a corner. With the addtion of Brede Hangeland (at 6'5" tall) in the backline, perhaps the defense's lack of stature will be corrected.
I saw a comment on another Fulham blog posing the question of moving Carlos Bocanegra into a holding midfielder position rather than the bank line. It is an intriguing thought, but Boca will have to rapidly improve his distribution skills to make that happen.