Fulham skipper Lee Clark is looking forward to leading the side into another Premier League campaign and believes the club have a strong spirit that will stand them in good stead during tough times.
The popular midfielder, who was handed the captain’s armband after Andy Melville’s departure for West Ham in January, has been speaking to the club’s official website about his leadership style.
“I think that I’ve got a good rapport with the players. We’ve now got a good dressing room here but it was vital that we got that sorted out quickly. We knew that there were going to be matches during the season where we wouldn’t be dominating and the only way we would be able to get the points would be through having a good togetherness. We were able to get points like that on quite a few occasions last season.
“As a captain you’re the link between the management and the team, so you’ve got to try and organise things. If there are any players who aren’t happy, they’ll come to me and I’ll speak to the management and try to sort any issues out from there. I’ve worked with some good captains during my career and I’ve learned a lot from them. The way I captain the side might be different to what we’ve had here before but that’s the way I see it happening. The fact that my captaincy has come at a later stage of my career means that my interest in coaching will also help.”
Clark has made no secret of the fact that he would like to move into coaching after finishing his playing career, but he is not about to hang up his boots just yet.
“I still see myself playing for the next three years or so. The coaching is something that’s on the backburner but it helped me keep my focus during my injury. The coaching option has always been open to me ever since I’ve been at the club. I’ll be trying to get my coaching badges so it might mean that I’ll be working with the younger players at the club.”
The former Newcastle and Sunderland midfielder also revealed that he took the decision to undergo surgery on a troublesome calf problem during the close season to give himself the best chance of beginning the new campaign in fine fettle.
“I could have rested my calf until the start of pre-season and not had an operation. But the problems still could have been there come the start of pre-season. My calf and Achilles were in great condition but I just had some problems with scar tissue and trapped nerves. In the end it was a good call by the medical team because within two weeks of having the operation, I was back running and now it’s just a matter of getting fit for the start of pre-season training.”