Simon Davies was surprised but very pleased to make a quicker than expected return from his knee injury at Swansea yesterday.
The Welsh winger started Fulham’s 2-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday after missing four months of action having injured his knee in Martin Jol’s first game in charge of the Cottagers against NSI Runavik back in June. After injuries to Danny Murphy and Steve Sidwell left Jol short of options in midfield, Davies played alongside Dickson Etuhu in central midfield and lasted 77 minutes before being replaced by Orlando Sa as Fulham went in search of an equaliser.
Davies was delighted to be back but had thought he would have to feature in a couple more reserve games before making his first-team return at some point over the festive period.
I’ve had the all clear from the physio for about a week or so, and to be honest, I had been looking at the Christmas fixtures for a possible return.
I had hoped to get four of five reserve team games in first, as the first team is a tough place to get your fitness levels back up.
I’m still a long way off where I need to be, but the injuries we have here meant I was needed.
Davies also admitted it was tough to play in Wales so soon after the sudden death of national coach Gary Speed.
Gary was a fantastic guy, and like everyone else, it was a complete shock for me.
The 32 year-old was disappointed with the result on his return to one of his local sides, believing that a draw would have been a fairer outcome.
We knew it would be a tough game because Swansea keep the ball well and we had a lot of defending to do at times. But it was just disappointing because, after they scored, I thought we really put the pressure on them – especially with the penalty.
I think a draw at the end of it would have been a fair result, because we had some really good chances. But all credit to Swansea because they played football really well.
It says a lot that their ‘keeper was man of the match. He saved two really good chances and obviously there was the penalty save as well. But, at this level, as we know from the last few years – you have to take your chances.
Davies is confident Fulham can bounce back from their Swansea setback and reach the knockout phase of the Europa League by beating Odense at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.
We’ve got a big week. It was a big game today, we’ve got a big one on Wednesday in Europe and Bolton at home on Saturday, so two big matches to take us into Christmas week which hopefully we’ll be going into on the back of two good wins.