We haven’t seen Simon Davies in a Fulham shirt for a while – he has been busy recovering from an operation on his foot. The Welsh midfielder’s performances last season did quite hit the heights of our Great Escape year, when he was clearly our best player, but that was largely because he was playing through the pain of a stress fracture for much of the campaign.
Davies is now back in training and his return to full fitness will give Roy Hodgson a few more midfield options to choose from. Here’s a terrific interview with Davies, where he touches on all sorts of things from life in Pembrokeshire to his experiences with Fulham. I’ve picked out a couple of excerpts, first on how things have been going at Craven Cottage:
I went there in January 2007 after a spell at Everton and it was like coming home when I returned to London in a side which has no big stars but everyone works for each other.
In my first season we had to beat Liverpool to stay up and it was even tougher the next season as we had to win three late games and avoided relegation only when we beat Portsmouth on the final day.
But this past season was brilliant because with Roy Hodgson guiding us so well we finished seventh and are hopeful of a place in Europe. We are not a big squad at Craven Cottage but we work for each other and it has paid off.
We work hard at our training ground at Motspur Park, where the facilities are outstanding, and we also have a brilliant back-up staff who monitor health, diet and many other things. The emphasis is on self-discipline and an example of this is that on a Sunday after a match were are expected to recover sensibly with a 20-minute jog where we have our own heart and pulse monitor to measure how things are.
You might hear a lot about some footballers not looking after themselves but I have had one night out in the last six months because the game is so fast now that you have to be at your best or you’ll be caught out!
Davies is also full of praise for Hodgson when he’s asked about the managers he has played under during his career.
But I have to say that Roy Hodgson, the current Fulham boss, is the top man because he is a great man manager as well as football manager, with the ability to bring the best out of us. He really is inspirational and I can’t speak highly enough of him.