Fulham captain Brede Hangeland today said the club had become “unrecognisable” from the one which reached the Europa League Final four years ago.
In a frank assessment of Fulham’s relegation from the Premier League, Hangeland suggested mistakes off the pitch are to blame for the club’s disastrous season. He also said the team have lacked the “right values and work ethic” and admitted he feared the club were “moving in the wrong direction” before the campaign started.
Fulham’s 13-year stay in the top-flight ended with a 4-1 defeat at Stoke on Saturday. Their demise since playing in the 2010 Europa League Final has been dramatic and Hangeland, the last remaining member of that side, says the club have changed beyond recognition.
“It is four years since I played in a European cup final and, if I am honest, I do not recognise anything from what we did back then,” he said.
“That was probably the best Fulham team of all time and the club have changed drastically since then.
“A lot of things have changed. The style of play and how we did things worked really well for us then and I do not really know why we moved away from that.
“We had a really good style of play, work ethic and the right values. I do not see much of that at the moment.
“There have been a few mistakes around the place in the last few years and we have paid the price for that. If I am honest, I had fears ahead of this season. There have been some warning signs that we are moving in the wrong direction.”
Hangeland has one year remaining on his contract but the defender, 32, has refused to commit his future to Fulham.
“It has been a terrible season and has ended in the worst possible way,” he said. “The players have not performed as well as we should have but there are many things that have gone wrong.
“I will be the first to hold my hands up that we have not done a good enough job. It is definitely the lowest point of my career.”