Fulham captain Tom Cairney has no problems with competition for places in the first team squad after the newly-promoted side’s summer spending spree.
The Cottagers have brought in twelve signings in preparation for their return to the top flight with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Joe Bryan and Luciano Vietto all joining the club on deadline day. Cairney, whose goal clinched Fulham’s return to the Premier League in the play-off final victory over Aston Villa in May, admitted he watched the club’s late business with an open mouth – like many fans.
“I was sat watching it just like everyone else, like ‘another one’. It was exciting. It’s really good. Being a player you want to play with the best players and against good players as you can. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the owners. They’ve backed us, showed a lot of ambition and they’re right behind us. It’s down to us now to repay them. You think, ‘wow, it’s even harder to stay in the team,’ but if you want to stay in this league for a long time you need that competition for places, you need quality.”
Cairney admits that he was asking a lot for so many new faces to gel instantly – with the Whites well beaten by Crystal Palace on the opening day – but believes the summer signings will prove invaluable in the long run.
“On Saturday our back five had two or three days together before the first game of the season, which is obviously not ideal. I guess it’s a fine balance between keeping the spirit from last season and adding the quality that we brought in. It’s a tough job. That’s why top managers are top managers and I’m sure our manager will be fine doing that.”