Matt Targett was delighted to secure a win over Nottingham Forest on his home debut – and the left back felt that Fulham’s ‘patience’ was rewarded by the two second half strikes that proved crucial at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon.
The Southampton loanee was handed a first start for the Whites in place of Denis Odoi after making a real impact as a substitute at Barnsley last weekend and turned in another encouraging performance full of running as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side recorded their fifth Championship win in a row. Targett told FulhamFCTV he was very pleased that the Whites stuck to their footballing priniciples even though Forest held out for more than an hour:
I’m delighted to make my home debut but the main thing was we got the three points. They’ve come here with a game plan, they’ve made it difficult for us but we had to be patient, keep moving the ball side to side, sometimes try and force it, but in the second half we got the goal and they had to come out a bit more. That suited us down to the ground.
We get the first goal and then, as you saw, they had to open up a bit and be more attacking, whereas in the first half they just camped in and tried to hit us on the counter attack. The first goal was massive.
The left back has already struck up a promising understanding with Ryan Sessegnon down the left flank and Targett revealed that he was learning as much from Fulhan’s teenage sensation as he Sesegenon could be from him.
For me, I’m just helping him and also I’m learning off him. I wouldn’t say our partnership is at the best at the moment, but each game I’m learning more about him and the longer we play together, the better we’ll be together.
When the team is playing with so much confidence, they’re on a great run, it’s easy to come in. Obviously you still have to play your part, but it makes it much easier. You’re learning about different players, just building relationships – I like to say it’s like your first day at school again. The lads have welcomed me with two arms and they’ve been so supportive. I thank them for that.
Targett also believes that Fulham’s spring schedule against a number of their fellow promotion contenders could go a long way to deciding how high the Whites can climb in the Championship table.
It’s massive. If you look at the fixtures we’ve got, we play the top teams. In a way, that could be positive. They will be more attacking and that suits us because we like to get the ball down and play through the thirds. Hopefully, we can get some good results but, like you say, it will be make or break.