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Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker says he is planning for the long term after his first match in charge ended in a narrow defeat by Chelsea.

The Premier League strugglers produced a much-improved performance in their first game since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, but remain deep in relegation trouble.

With nine matches remaining, they are 10 points from safety and have lost eight of their past nine league games.

“The most important thing was we showed character,” said Parker. “Our centre-halves got the ball and played. This is the way Fulham play and the way I want my team to play.

“I am thinking long term in the best interests of Fulham. I will treat this as long term because I want to help this club.” Fulham 1-2 Chelsea: First match for Parker was a ‘rollercoaster’

Gonzalo Higuain set Chelsea on the way to a first Premier League away win of 2019 with a high-quality finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Fulham equalised through Calum Chambers from a corner, awarded after recalled Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga produced an outstanding stop to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s volley.

They were level for only four minutes, Jorginho’s well placed finish from 20 yards leaving Chelsea only two points adrift of fourth spot.

Ryan Sessegnon thought he had equalised in the closing moments but the 18-year-old’s effort was ruled out for offside.

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