Fulham finished the January transfer window in classic style, with two signings at the death of the 11pm deadline. I think many of us had given up hope when the majority of the day had brought us pretty much zero talk of any activity at Motspur Park apart from a couple of out-goings. But overall, I think we can be very pleased with the business Fulham managed to get done, no matter how late in the day it was. The very uncomfortable talk of Tom Cairney amounted to nothing and we have survived another transfer window keeping the outstanding Ryan Sessegnon.
The acquisitions of Matty Targett and Cyrus Christie are solid, and help to provide cover in defence while Aleksandar Mitrovic will surely provide a considerable goal threat up front. I am still a little bit disappointed that we haven’t brought in more CB cover, especially considering Michael Madl has been off-loaded and Djalo has never seemed to appeal to Slavisa Jokanovic, but I suppose we were never going to get everything that we wanted. I’m most excited about Mitrovic, as he already has plenty of experience in both the Premier League and Championship with Newcastle and he was always a player who I feared coming on against Fulham. He is young, hungry and will literally run through a brick wall for you, which should come in handy against some of the ‘park the bus’ defences we are likely to come up against in our league. He also provides good competition between the strikers currently in our ranks which is always a good thing. Christie and Targett are both young and come with decent reputations. Both should fit in with Slav’s philosophy and can rip up and down the flanks, something that we have become accustomed to seeing from Fulham. I think Targett is more likely to have a starting berth, but I’m happy that Fredericks now has some competition for his right-back spot. From his comments at today’s presser, it is clear that Jokanovic is for once happy with how things have went regarding transfers. He isn’t one to give praise, so when it happens, you know that big things are happening at the club. A happy Jokanovic equals a happy Fulham so I’m very excited about what he can get from this squad.
It will be interesting to see how Jokanovic sets us up tomorrow for the visit of Nottingham Forest. I’m not sure if Mitrovic has had enough game time to warrant a start but I’d imagine that we will see him at some stage tomorrow. I reckon we will have Targett starting ahead of Odoi while Fredericks should get the nod ahead of Christie for now at least.
Forest have had a difficult season so far, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the result is inevitable. Aitor Karanka is a shrewd manager and, as a former defender, will be focused on tightening up a leaky defence. Forest were actually the busiest Championship side on deadline day with a total of six signings, including Lee Tomin, Joe Lolley and former Fulham favourite Ashkan Dejagah. It will take time for them to bed in, but Fulham should be wary of a side very different to the one we beat 3-1 at the City Ground earlier in the season.
It is going to be my first visit to the Cottage of 2018 and my first game since that awful day in Sunderland. Since then, however, we have only lost once, and that was in the FA Cup, and are currently on a rich vein of form. Hopefully tomorrow brings our 6th win in a row at the undisputed home of football.