Ryan Fredericks is delighted to be fit and firing again at Fulham and the defender is determined to make up for lost time after being sidelined during his side’s impressive start to the season.
The former Bristol City and Tottenham full-back spent three frustrating months on the sidelines after picking up an untimely injury in a pre-season friendly with Saturday’s opponents Brighton and Hove Albion and must have feared for his first-team place when new signing Denis Odoi began the campaign so strongly. But Fredericks’ pace and attacking instincts give Fulham genuine width and threat from a deep position and his return to the side coincided with two excellent wins over Huddersfield Town and Brentford.
Speaking to the Football League Paper, the right back admitted he wanted to make a good impression on his return to the team and says he certainly doesn’t take his place in the side for granted:
It was really frustrating to be out injured at the start of the season. I had started well in pre-season and I had looked after myself in the off-season. I was feeling really fit. To get injured so close to the season was hard to take, and then to watch as the boys got off to a great start thinking I could have helped out was frustrating. But all it did was make me hungry to get back and made me more determined not to take my place in the team for granted.
Denis is a good player and he showed that early on. But that is no different to any position at this club because we have two good players for each position. I am not going to say it was all down to me coming back, but it was nice to get back into the side and help us get back to winning ways.
The 5-0 [win over Huddersfield] had been coming because we had been unlucky, hit the post or missed penalties, so we were due a result like that. We had been playing well and we have such a good squad here that it was only a matter of time. Hopefully, we can continue that momentum now and push on.
Fredericks also took the time to laud one of Fulham’s up and coming stars. Teenager Ryan Sessegnon has taken to senior football so impressively and his rampaging runs down the right give the Whites genuinely adventurous full-backs on both sides of the pitch.
Ryan is a top talent. When you are that young, you just want to run forward with the ball, which he can do, but his defensive positioning is great, too. I have never seen someone of that quality at such a young age, and for him to be playing at this level is amazing.
When I was his age I was playing Under-18s football and never would have dreamed about playing at this level, especially when the Championship is one of the toughest leagues around. So, for him to be doing what he is at 16, is amazing.