Pavel Pogrebnyak has told a Russian newspaper that he wants to secure a long-term stay at Fulham.
The Russian striker, signed on a short-term deal until the end of the season, has scored twice in his first two games and for the club and hopes to do enough before the end of the campaign to convince Martin Jol to offer him a long-term contract. Pogrebnyak says he has ‘no regrets’ about deciding to make the move to London and understands why Fulham had to take him on a shorter contract initially.
I can’t complain, things have started very well. The move was very difficult. I had to think, first because I was relocating my family, and also because I was offered a contract only for six months. Now, of course, I have no regrets.
I wanted to sign a long-term contract. The club wanted to see how I would adapt in the Premier League, because the German and English championships are very different. The management wanted to play safe.
Pogrebnyak has even thought about helping Fulham to progress – and says he sees enough potential in the squad for the club to challenge for hours in the future.
At Zenit I got used to winning medals and the title, so I want to win something in England and there is time to do that. ‘I think I can win something with Fulham. We have a chance to qualify for the Europa League, and in England there are many cups.
The 28 year-old, who admitted he didn’t know that he would be cautioned for celebrating with the fans after scoring at QPR on Saturday, also expanded on yesterday’s comments about how much of a culture change the Premier League is proving.
In England there are the strongest players in the world. There is a lot of fighting for the ball in the air. For the first 10 or 15 minutes of my debut against Stoke, I didn’t know where I was. The ball flew back and forth through the air. Then it became clear that this was the English Premier League, which can’t be mistaken with anything.
All the defenders are strong, tall and good in the air. In general, I still have to adapt. I feel the championship is more intense than the Bundesliga. It’s faster, which is largely down to the referee. In England they let you play – referees hardly ever whistle for minor fouls.