Damien Duff’s a fairly modest individual. From my vantage point, his equaliser was much more than ‘alright’ but like the pro that Roy Hodgson likes, he values the three points for Fulham ahead of the glory of his own spectacular strike.
The goal was alright but it was more important that the team managed to get back into the game more than myself adding to my goals tally. Whoever scored it was an important goal.
Of course, it is always nice to score and as we know Bobby [Zamora] went on to score the winner which made it a good day for us. They [Birmingham] are a good side and when they go in front like they did against us they usually don’t let that lead slip – so that made the victory very satisfying.
I think the team spirit and desire is there for all to see. hat was the case last Thursday and again on Sunday. The two games were very different; Shakhtar, as everyone will agree, were a fantastic footballing side – one of the best perhaps – and moved the ball around very nicely, whilst the match with Birmingham was more of a physical battle.
Despite the efforts in midweek I thought we looked energetic enough, it has been a tough week for us because not long before that game we also played in the FA Cup. I think we can be very pleased with how we have played.
The Irish winger sounds very excited about how Fulham’s season could pan out.
When I signed I hadn’t thought too much about what could be achieved this season. I just wanted to get back and enjoy my football again. I have to say that I am very pleased with how things are going both for me personally and for the team. Hopefully that will carry on for the rest of the season.
We have an FA Cup Quarter-Final to look forward to, as well as the second leg with Shakhtar this week. That will be another exciting game and it will be an exciting place to go.
But the League is our bread and butter, and it’s important that we keep picking up points. We have a nice amount already, but there is a long way to go. However, we’re certainly not looking downwards, we’re definitely looking up.
And that mere fact is evidence of progress Fulham have made in Hodgson’s action-packed spell at the helm.
Interesting – who was the last player to actually enjoy playing for Newcastle? Shearer?
This may sound a bit harsh, but it does seem to be almost like a graveyard for talented players. Not only Duff, but players like Hugo Viana, Luque, Owen, even Tomasson and Saha. I think the players get put under so much pressure at St James’ Park, due to the often unrealistic expectations of the fans.
Or is the opposite true, and Fulham gives players who have not necessarily enjoyed their football a new lease of life? I’m thinking of Danny Murphy here too – a player who had a pretty poor time at Spurs. Similar stories with Pantsil, Hughes, Davies, Etuhu, AJ and Zamora. Talented players who never seemed settled at their clubs and were out of favour – and who have been allowed to flourish at Craven Cottage.
It really has been obvious that Duff is enjoying his football once again – his celebrations (in particular the one against Bolton) also seem to suggest that he is enjoying playing for the club as well. Players need to enjoy their football to be at their most effective – Ronaldinho is an obvious example of this. Thankfully, Duff is enjoying his football, and we are lucky enough to be seeing him play some of his best football in a long time at the Cottage.
I think there’s something to be said about Roy’s management. He’s made other people’s cast offs look like world beaters. You’ve mentioned most of them above but the difference in the play of people like Baird and Hughes from the Sanchez era is remarkable. I’d also suggest he’s taken the likes of Pantsil, Dempsey and Zamora onto a higher level as well.
What encouraging words and ideas from Damien Duff!!!
Nick and Dan, I think the both of you are quite correct. I think these guys come to Fulham knowing that they should get a fair shot, and that Roy Hodgson will put them in a position to do their best within the team’s philosophy and needs. At least for the most part.