New Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen insists he was surprised by the decision to sack Martin Jol as boss following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to West Ham.
Former Manchester United assistant boss Meulensteen has replaced his fellow Dutchman in the hotseat after arriving at Craven Cottage as head coach last month.
There has been speculation that his promotion was inevitable but Meulensteen is adamant that he did not expect this chain of events.
“I totally disagree with that because it has been a quite long process of me bringing myself into Fulham and I spoke numerous times with people at Fulham,” Meulensteen told Sky Sports News.
Rene Meulensteen has taken over at Fulham with immediate effect following the sacking of Martin Jol. “I have known Martin for many, many years and my departure from Manchester United took some time but eventually I felt it was the right thing to do to come to Fulham and to help Martin at Fulham Football Club.
“It was definitely not something that I was anticipating. We wanted to turn this corner together.”
Meulensteen, who has already spoken to Jol following his departure, was to hold talks with Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh on Sunday evening and he believes he can turn around the struggling Premier League club’s fortunes.
He said: “I will meet up with Alistair later to discuss the new situation and how we are going to progress from here.
“We know that Martin has been released which is a shame because I didn’t see that coming from within the club and it was something I didn’t want to happen to be fairly honest.
“We want some clarity with regards to how we are going to progress on a daily basis from now.
“We know what position we are in. It’s a position that Fulham don’t want to be in, the staff don’t want to be in and the players don’t want to be in.
“But this is where we are at and if I am given a responsibility of making sure that I carry out the manager’s job for the foreseeable future then we have to do our utmost to get Fulham back up the table.
“The most important thing is that we close our ranks, we know where we are in the league and it is not the place Fulham wants to be.
“It’s a massive challenge but at the end of the day when you are faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure that you get the basic things right.
“You make sure that you stay mentally strong and that the fans are getting behind the team – I think that is one of the most important things.
“We need to make sure that the players believe and then you make sure you get the basic things right – work-rate, discipline, that sort of thing. They are cliches but these are the things you need to put right first and foremost.
“We need to make sure we make every decision that will increase the chances of making sure that Fulham is a Premier League club next year.
“That’s where they belong and that’s what we need to do and if investment is needed in whatever area it is then we need to live up to that because otherwise you might be paying a very high price.”