Rui Fonte has targeted a third straight away win as Fulham prepare to face the Championship’s in-form side, Aston Villa, at Villa Park tomorrow afternoon.
The Portuguese striker feels Fulham can take confidence from the quality of their last two away showings before the international break that saw Slavisa Jokanovic’s side beat Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers. The former Braga forward told FulhamFCTV:
I think so because it was two tough games. Forest is a very difficult ground to play at, QPR is a derby so getting those two wins shows us that we can do our best and shows to everyone that we can win away. We just need to do it at home as well.
The 27 year-old knows that Fulham could face a boisterous home crowd in the Midlands tomorrow but believes the experience of a tempestuous west London derby will stand them in good stead for what they may come up against.
It is always good when you score first or an early goal, but as long as we get the win, it will be good for us. Of course, we hear the atmosphere, but most of the time we just focus on the game.
The striker certainly isn’t underestimating the scale of the challenge posed by Steve Bruce’s charges or the size of the personal battle he will have to win against Villa’s captain, John Terry.
They have an experienced team. They have an experienced coach, who has coached in the Premier League, but we have our own objectives and we want to go there and win the game, like we did in the last two away games and that’s where we start from.
He’s a Champions League winner, international but like every other centre back, I try to do my best and this is not because it is John Terry. Of course, I have respect for him and his career, but I prepare the same way for every single game.
Fonte feels Fulham will head into this fixture in good heart after Denis Odoi’s injury-time equaliser rescued a point against Preston North End last time out, but is clear that the Whites can improve on that uneven display.
It was a last-minute draw after a great comeback. It’s good for morale after being 2-0 down, but you have to take a lesson from that game as well because the first half wasn’t good enough for us. We showed in the second half what we can do – but we have do it from the start.
To come back from 2-0 against a very difficult team – very intense – showed that we have the character, the personality and the desire to come back. I think we could have scored before the second one [goal], but to get it in the last minute, it was a big boost for us but we want more, of course.