Fulham captain Scott Parker acknowledged that the Whites’ season has been a bit of a mess.

Despite boasting two of the Championship’s leading scorers in Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele, the west Londoners are only moving clear of the relegation zone after wins over MK Dons and Preston.

And the Fulham captain admitted that it was not a position he had expected to be in during the summer.

He said: “It’s been very difficult. It’s been a real shame and a bit of a mess. None of us at the football club – and I include the owner in that – anticipated we’d be where we are in the league.

“It’s disappointing. I’m sure there are reasons. Our main focus is staying in the division. We’ve got our head around it and realised the situation we’re in.”

Parker added: “I’m sure everyone will get their heads together from the owner to the manager and the people involved. Everyone will have an opinion on what’s gone wrong and what’s gone right.”

The midfielder knows full well that, if it wasn’t for the goals from McCormack and Dembele, who have both been linked with the exit door this summer, then the Whites would be deeper in the relegation mire.

He said: “They’re a vital part of the team. They’re the boys that get the headlines. The centre forwards make the difference.”

Fulham take on Cardiff City on Saturday and it will be a reunion of sorts for star striker McCormack.

The Scot spent two seasons in the Welsh capital and scored 25 goals in 74 league appearances for the Bluebirds.

But any friendships he has with his former team-mates will go out of the window.

The striker said: “It will be good to see some familiar faces at Cardiff, I keep in touch with a few of the lads there so it will be sweet.

“I am not going to be making friends on Saturday though – we will be chasing an important three points.”