Chris Coleman has banned his Fulham players from discussing Europe as he seeks to ensure the team are fully focused on Saturday’s London derby against Charlton Athletic.
The Fulham manager was disappointed with Fulham’s display in their last game at Loftus Road – where they were beaten 4-3 by struggling Blackburn Rovers – and is desperate to avoid another slip-up as chances to move up the table are few and far between in the final weeks of the season.
He told his pre-match press conference:
“All the hype seems to be surrounding Charlton at the minute and if we beat them we’ll leapfrog them with our better goal difference. But we’ve been in this position before – with an opportunity to win a game and jump a few places. I’ve told the lads all week to not even mention Europe or where we could finish. Just get on with the game and win it. We’ve had to take tumbles this season and it’s been disappointing.
I’ve been here before and I’ve been disappointed before – so I’m not going to put any extra pressure on myself or the lads. We know that we need to win the game if we’re going to keep our hopes of a high finish alive.”
The Fulham boss also disclosed the work that went into signing Dutch sensation Collins John, who has made a dramatic start to his Cottagers career.
“Our Chief Scout John Marshall told me about him. John had seen him play a few times and said that I might want to take a look at him. I watched him on video then went to watch him playing for Twente. I could see that he had a lot of promise and since we lost Louis Saha we haven’t had an out-and-out goal scorer in our team.”