Chris Coleman has called upon his Fulham side to finish a magnificent season strongly – starting with Saturday’s trip to Fratton Park to face Portsmouth.
The Fulham boss is not resting on his laurels after proving the pundits wrong this term and knows that his team will be in for a tough battle on the south coast. He told his pre-match press conference:
“We’ve got three tough matches left. The game against Portsmouth is going to be incredibly hard because they’re the form team in the league. Somebody said to me last week in the post-Charlton press conference that we’ve surprised a lot of people this season and we’re in a fortunate position. Of course, there’s an element of luck in everything but there are a lot of games in a season and I’ve said all along that your luck will even itself out over the course of a season.
If we win the last three games and don’t get in the top six everybody will be amazed. But it’s a big ask for us to beat Portsmouth away, Arsenal at home and Bolton away – they’re three really tough games.”
Coleman heaped praise on Harry Redknapp for his remarkable rescue act at Fratton Park.
He’s done a terrific job – like us, Portsmouth weren’t fancied at the start of the season either. They always say that the three promoted clubs will go back down but he’s proved that wrong. He hasn’t had a lot of money to spend but he’s got a good squad of players. He’s shown his experience in the transfer market and has spent wisely.”
He admitted that Fulham were motivated by the prospect of being able to ram pre-season predictions down a few throats.
“The feeling in the camp is a lot better now than when I took over last season. A lot’s changed, we’ve got some new players and I’ve done some things differently to past managers. Towards the end of last season there was a lot of bad publicity surrounding the club, saying that we were going down and it was the end of the Fulham resurgence. I concentrated hard on the spirit in the dressing room, I’m a big believer in that. A strong dressing room wins you games. It’s no good having dressing room full of good players if they don’t play together.
I think we wanted to prove a lot of people wrong – not just the players but everybody at the club. We’ve got a great training ground and I talked with all of the staff at the start of the season saying that I needed a lot of help to create a really good environment for the players to come in and train. Everybody at the training ground has done that and it’s been a massive help for the players and myself. The Club’s starting to move in the right direction.”