Neeskens Kebano was delighted to start Fulham’s pre-season preparations with his first goal and hinted that he should become the club’s regular penalty taker after his spot-kick carried the Whites past Piast Gliwice.
Speaking to FulhamFCTV after the friendly victory in Poland, the Congolese winger expanded on the importance of some strenuous summer training to give the players the stamina and endurance to prepare for a draining Championship season.
It was important to win this friendly game. It is important to get everybody ready for the forthcoming season, we are working hard here in Poland and we are training to be in the best shape for the upcoming important games. It has been hard work – that is not the best part for us, but it is vital to go through the pre-season to be in better shape.
Kebano, operating on the left of a fluid Fulham front three, confidently tucked away a first-half spot-kick won by George Williams and staked a claim to be Slavisa Jokanovic’s main man from twelve yards after last season’s penalty hoodoo.
It was a penalty. That’s the first penalty that I take here in Fulham – I scored, so we will see in the future for the next penalties!
The popular winger insisted that a youthful Fulham side acquitted themselves well against physical Polish opponents and admitted he needed to do very little to prepare the likes of Matt O’Riley, Steven Sessegnon and Jon Dagur Thorteinssen for their first taste of senior football.
It was just some little words [before the game] and some help on the pitch and that’s it. I think they are big enough to know what role they have to play on the field.
Kebano confirmed that the disappointment of losing out to Reading in last season’s play-off semi-final is now firmly behind the squad and they are ready to try and push for promotion once again from the Championship this season.
All the things that happened last season – everything’s over. We have to refresh our mindset and be all ready for the future. We don’t know how it is going to be but we are ready to face it.
He emphasised the strong bond between the squad that Jokanovic has assembled and also expressed both surprise and admiration for the group of Fulham fans who had travelled over to Poland to watch the first game of Fulham’s summer tour.
It is just like a family and we are all glad to be back together. I think you filmed when we came for the first appointment of the season and it was, like ‘I miss you, I miss you too’. It showed that we are just like a family and very good friends. I was surprised [by the number of fans travelling over]. I didn’t know that they were coming here. It shows how much they love us and each time we are in the field, we just have to give them back.