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Sunday, 2 December, 2001, 16:17 GMT
How Fowler fared
BBC Sport Online's Sanjeev Shetty analyses Robbie Fowler's debut performance for Leeds against Fulham

Robbie Fowler cited Leeds' style of play as one of the reasons he joined the Yorkshire side.

But he could hardly have believed that they would produce such a sterile attacking display in his debut at Fulham.

Famous for their potent strikeforce, the visitors produced very few attacks and the 11m signing was left to feed off scraps.

Followers of Fowler's career will know that he enjoys playing alongside a big striker while also being the first to support attacks from an attacking midfielder.

At Liverpool, he flourished alongside Stan Collymore and Steve McManaman.

It's a new club and to get the first game out of the way is important.
Robbie Fowler

Under David O'Leary's side, Fowler will no doubt hope that Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell can fill those roles.

Unfortunately, the Australian pair were playing their first game since returning from Uruguay in a World Cup play-off and both looked sluggish.

At Craven Cottage, Fowler had to wait until the fifth minute for his first touch.

His first shot, an ambitious lob from 45 yards, came in the 13th minute, although it provided little trouble for Edwin van der Sar.

A second effort, at the end of the first half, was a sliced volley on the stretch from Kewell's cross, which went harmlessly wide.

The second half was only a slight improvement for him.

A neat one-two with Viduka gave him a shooting opportunity from 20 yards, but the attempted volley went high and wide.

Every player is first class, and on the training pitch we will work on a few things.
Robbie Fowler

That came in the 63rd minute and 10 minutes later came his best effort of the match.

In a moment reminiscent of his finest days in a red shirt, the Toxteth-born striker picked the ball up centrally and fired a wicked left-footed shot which Van der Sar appeared happy to hold.

He came closer in the 86th minute, when Alan Smith's header in the penalty area found Fowler eight yards out but with his back to goal.

His flick at goal nearly caught Van der Sar out, but the Dutchman held onto the ball at the second attempt.

Give him (Fowler) a run of games and get him up to speed, and he will be excellent.
David O'Leary

In general, the 26-year-old worked hard and found a team-mate with the vast majority of his passes.

As evident by a strong finish to the game, his fitness, questioned earlier in the season, is not a problem.

His trademark runs between centre-backs and full-backs were in evidence, although they were seldom spotted by his team-mates.

As Fowler said afterwards, those things are bound to be worked at on the training pitch.

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