It was difficult for even the most pessimistic of Fulham fans to believe the torrid start we had to this season. The constant squad re-shuffling along with a manager who just didn’t seem to get what was required in the Championship saw Fulham gain 1 point after eight games. We had become the laughing stock of English football and looked like candidates for the double drop. It was a remarkable fall for a team who not so long ago made it to the final of the 2010 Europa League (although admittedly we were pushing above our weight!)
But then Khan did what all Fulham fans were calling out for and got rid of Magath and put Fulham legend Kit Symons in the hot seat and, boy, what a change we have seen! The players are clearly enjoying their football and I get excited to see the boys play again. But this game isn’t just about enjoyment. Results mean points and points mean climbing up the table. I’m not saying that it’s time to set our expectations to promotion again as we have given ourselves such a ridiculous mountain to climb but I think we are allowed to have an eye on the league table and keep dreaming! 19games into this league has shown us just how unpredictable it can be. Anyone really can take points off anyone so Fulham just have to keep their heads down and keep picking up the points. A couple of wins back to back can make a remarkable difference to league position so I really do believe that 6th spot is just about within reach. Recently Kit Symons was questioned about Ryan Tunnicliffe and Alex Kacaniklic and he explained that bringing the two back from loan because of their Championship experience was a possibility.
“Yeah, bringing them back would certainly be a possibility.
“Those are two players who are Fulham players with Championship experience. I’m very reticent to bring anyone into the club.
“I’m 100 per cent sure they’re character wise and ability wise what we need. Ryan and Alex are two players I know very well.”
Kit seems to be keen to add players to the squad who know the league well as it is this sort of experience along with the talent we already have in the squad that will possibly inspire a promotion push!
Two key things required for a consistent run of results are a solid goalkeeper and forwards who score goals. Our defence and forwards have to perform week in, week out if we are to really become a force in the Championship. So far we have seen bursts of brilliance but it needs to be more than that. I’m confident, however, that in Marcus Bettinelli, Hugo Rodallega and Ross McCormack we can do this. Bettinelli has been a revelation since starting between the sticks and we have actually only lost twice with him there this season. He is vocal and has pulled off some outstanding stops leading him to be rewarded with an England U21 call up in November. At only 22, his Fulham future looks extremely bright.
At the other end of the pitch the partnership between Rodallega and McCormack has shown so much promise. Although his goal tally hasn’t been as good as last year, McCormack has been our main goal and chance creator this season. One man who has enjoyed this more than anyone so far is undoubtedly fans favourite Rodallega. They clearly just KNOW how the other plays and I can only see this getting better and better the more games they get together.
We are not the finished article yet. Our defence still looks shakey at times and we give the ball away a bit too much but I believe that Kit is working on these things everyday at training. He has a fantastic knowledge of the game and as this is only his first main managers’ position, he can only get better. We now have a manager who loves the club and a squad who are playing for him and the fans. It’s a team who can just keep improving and could be on the brink of a very exciting promotion push. Hold on to your hats, folks. This really could be something big!