The Australian international has been one of Fulham’s top performers as Roy Hodgson’s side surged into the top half of the table this year and kept another clean sheet as the Whites recorded a memorable victory over Manchester United at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Schwarzer, who will be in international action this week as he tries to help his country to their second successive World Cup with a win over Uzbekistan in Sydney a week tonight, freely admits that, whilst at Middlesbrough, he had effectively consigned Fulham to the drop last February.
Towards the end of last season most people were writing Fulham off, and I was one of them. Around February time, when I was at Boro, I remember thinking Fulham had no chance of surviving.
But they created that amazing feat, staying up, and then, when I came down to speak Roy Hodgson, I realised he had plans, that he wanted to turn the club around and make it into a strong team and really look up towards the top half of the table. This season we’ve consolidated very well, we’ve played very good football and I think it’s right we’re in the position we’re in.
Schwarzer lauded Hodgson’s ability to get the best of his players.
It’s fantastic to have that type of manager who encourages you and gives you self-belief, so that if you make a mistake you just get your head down and rectify it. Everyone is pulling in the right direction, everyone is supporting each other, guys are covering each other in case there are mistakes.
From the front line to the back line we’re defending as a team and that shows with the amount of clean sheets we’ve had this season. Our defensive record is outstanding and that is credit to the full team, not just the back four and the goalkeeper.
Schwarzer is also adamant that Fulham’s fine season isn’t finished yet.
Now we have 40 points, and everyone talks about 40 points being in the safe zone. When you think about what Fulham went through last season, to be where we are now is a credit to everyone at the club.
There’s eight games to go and we definitely want to finish in the top half of the table. But I’m also hoping for two of the top four teams to be in the FA Cup Final so another place in Europe goes to a finishing position in the league — that would open it up.
With confidence high down at Motspur Park, Schwarzer’s looking forward to returning to league action against Liverpool.
It’s a massive game. But hopefully we can perform equally well against them as we did against Manchester United.