Kit Symons will quit Fulham if he is not confirmed as the club’s new manager. Standard Sport can reveal over 60 applicants have joined the queue to replace axed boss Felix Magath.
Billionaire club owner Shahid Khan has assembled a five-man committee to find the next manager, but Fulham fans have already made it clear they want caretaker boss Symons to stay.
Symons has slowly pulled Fulham away from the bottom of the Championship, masterminding three consecutive wins, including last night’s 4-0 thumping of fellow strugglers Bolton.
Jubilant fans chanted Symons’ name and sang: ‘We have our Fulham back’. The need for a five-man selection committee seems increasingly pointless, especially as only one of them – club fan and Nike director David Daly – was present last night.
Symons’ main rivals for the job are Tim Sherwood, Neil Lennon, Chris Hughton, Steve Clarke and Gianfranco Zola, but if Fulham earn at least a point at eighth-placed Middlesbrough on Saturday, there are clear indications Khan may abandon his selection process.
It is also my understanding that Symons will walk away if he is overlooked and that will only antagonise fans whose loyalty has been stretched to the limits over the past 12 months by managerial ins and outs.
Symons said: “I don’t feel a result like this is doing me any harm but I respect the club’s process to recruit a new manager and will just concentrate on doing the job to the best of my ability and be judged on that.
“The two things I set out to do when I came in were to galvanise the club and start winning games. On both counts it’s going well, but I have had tremendous support.
“I’ve changed a lot of things and everyone has bought into that. It’s nice to see people come into the club with smiles on their faces. The enthusiasm and determination to succeed on and off the field has been first class. Everyone is pulling in the same direction.
“It’s nice to see the team play with so much freedom and the supporters to appreciate what we are trying to do. If it continues it can only be positive.”
Khan abandoned his usual conference call from America with the manager and chief executive Alistair Mackintosh on Monday following Fulham’s first league win of the season, at Birmingham. The owner felt there was no need when things were going so well on and off the field.
Captain Scott Parker said: “I’m seeing massive improvements and I think the lads are slowly getting to realise what this league is all about, and what some of the main ingredients you need are.
“We’ve got a young squad. Even those who aren’t young have never played in this league. Technically I think we’re probably one of the best teams in the league but there’s the other side to the game, especially in the Championship, which you need.”