Andy Johnson has finally spoken out about his contractual negotiations with Fulham and says he will leave the west London club in the summer if they don’t offer him a deal he feels he deserves.
The 30 year-old’s stay at Craven Cottage has been frustrated by a number of injury lay-offs but the former Crystal Palace and Everton striker feels he is finally approaching some of his very best form. Johnson has scored eleven goals in nineteen appearances for Fulham this season, including a memorable hat-trick in the 6-0 thumping of QPR last month, but he has yet to agree a new contract with the club, despite his current deal expiring in July.
Johnson is guarded about the specifics of the situation – recent media reports suggests that he and Fulham were closer to an agreement than they were earlier in the season – but is taking into consideration that this will probably be the last contract he signs.
They have made me an offer to stay and I don’t feel it’s appropriate to go into the details of that offer.
But I have to take into account many things before I can commit my future to the club and I feel the contract should reflect my worth.
It will be the last big contract of my career and primarily I have to do what is right by my family. And if that contract doesn’t reflect that then I will weigh up my options.
Johnson also paid tribute to knee specialist Richard Steadman, whom he credits with reviving his career.
There is no doubt I owe him my career. The odds were stacked against me making a full recovery.
He openly admitted it was the second biggest area he had ever had to repair, performing state of the art microsurgery that repairs and re-grows the cartilige in your knee. I remember walking into his office and his walls were covered in shirts from famous sports stars thanking him for saving their careers.
The former England international admits he found his recuperation from setbacks particularly tough.
It was hard. Without dedication and support from my family and the medical staff at Fulham I would never have come through this.
At one point I had to sit on my sofa with a machine that rotated my knee 80 to 90 degrees for 8 hours a day. And even after that, when you have become the forgotten man in many people’s eyes, you have to go through arduous rehabilitation.
I think that’s natural [doubting yourself]. You are hesistant initially and after a very serious injury it takes time to recover and restore your confidence.
Johnson, who is delighted with his performances this season, holds the Fulham fans in high regard.
Naturally I’m delighted with my form but I have always worked extremely hard to be the best that I can and that will never change.
I will never forget returning against Wigan last Christmas when the whole stadium gave me a standing ovation. You can’t buy support like that.