All of the optimism that accompanied Fulham as they were promoted to the Premier League ahead of this season has gradually ebbed away. Now, they have a manager on the verge of the sack and the worst defensive record in the top flight.
Such a poor back line has led to the Cottagers becoming the division’s whipping boys who even Cardiff can put four goals past. With Liverpool next on the agenda things look set to get worse before they get better.
If the west Londoners are to stand any chance of securing a result at Anfield, they must be tactically perfect.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic must dial back his attacking instincts to an extent and focus on constructing a far more balanced rearguard, which includes playing players in their natural positions.
The time has also come for Jokanovic to place faith in the players who secured promotion for Fulham in the first place. Including the likes of Tim Ream, Ryan Sessegnon and Cyrus Christie in the starting XI ought to provide a measure of defensive cohesion that the overabundance of newcomers at the club cannot yet muster.
Equally, the central midfielders and wide attackers must be diligent in performing their defensive duties.
Defensive solidity is the foundation of any successful side. That is a lesson that Liverpool themselves have had to learn in recent years. If Fulham can find that base to build from at the back then they can still survive and thrive in the Premier League.
Against the Reds, the Cottagers have the attacking quality to create chances. If they take their chances and match that with a greater focus upon maintaining their defensive focus, then at the very least signs of improvement and progress should be evident on Sunday.