Mark Schwarzer has dismissed suggestions that he could leave Fulham by declaring that he’s happy at Craven Cottage.
This morning’s Sun suggested that Schwarzer was a target for Tottenham and Aston Villa in the close season but the Australian goalkeeper, who only joined Fulham last summer, told the club’s official website that his first year with the Whites could not have gone any better.
It’s been brilliant. I couldn’t have asked for a better season really. Hopefully by the end of the season we will have finished seventh and I can hold my hand on my heart and say, ‘I don’t think it could have gone any better’.
To be where we are with two games to go is unbelievable, especially when you compare it to last season. I wasn’t here then, but I saw it from afar and I experienced a similar situation when I first moved to Middlesbrough, so I know what it’s like to be in that position and how hard it can be, so to be fighting for a place in Europe now is a remarkable turnabout.
It’s a turnabout that I believed was possible at the start of the season, as did most of the players, and that’s why we are in this position, because we have that self belief here. The manager has a strong belief in the team that he sends out every week and we’re very focused and dedicated on finishing as high as possible. Did we expect to be in this position with two games to go? Probably not, but now that we’re here we’ll do our best to finish the job.
I knew that coming here I could achieve a lot and really impact on the record books and it’s been fantastic to be a part of it so far, now hopefully we can finish the season on a high. The lowest we can finish at this stage is 10th and that’s still an amazing season – but I think we can top that and win another game or two before the season’s out.
Schwarzer’s feels that he made the right decision to join Fulham last summer – a decision that’s been proved correct by his own fine form and the club’s excellent performances.
At the beginning of the season when I signed for Fulham I had people questioning my decision, saying “what are you doing signing for a team that have just avoided relegation?” Being the first player that the gaffer had signed in the off-season, there was that slight concern that there might not be too many to follow. But the manager was very adamant that he was going to change things around and bring in players, and that the chairman was backing him to do so, so I was confident that he would be able to achieve that.
I think we signed eight players in the summer, all of which have proved very positive and the team has performed very well as a result, so I was always quietly confident that we would be more than comfortable come the end of season.
Now people are talking about what a season we’ve had, and how the manager is a real unsung hero, and he is. He’s been mentioned as an outsider for manager of the season and unfortunately it’s usually a given that the manager of one of the top four clubs will get that award, but I think you have to look beyond that and think about it in terms of the resources available, and the clubs in question.
We want to finish this season on a high and cap off a very good season, rather than let it slip by thinking about what we’re doing for our holidays or something, and obviously we have the big carrot of qualifying for a European spot.
It’s good to hear that Schwarzer’s so happy at the club. For me, he and Hangeland have been the major reasons why we’ve been so good at the back this season. The derisory £500,000 figure that the papers had dreamt up as a potential fee was actually pretty funny considering just how important the big Aussie has been to our success this year. His enthusiastic praise for the manager shows just how highly regarded Roy is – and rightly so.