Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald is determined that Fulham do not become a one season Premier League wonder.
The Scottish midfielder admits the pain of losing the play-off semi final to Reading two seasons ago remains raw and he doesn’t want to waste the opportunity after May’s memorable win over Aston Villa. The 29 year-old told the Daily Express:
“We don’t want to be a one-season team and go straight back down. That’s not what anyone wants, we have worked far too hard as a whole club. It is going to pick up, but we have to work hard on the training pitch and cut out the mistakes we are making. We are letting in two to three goals a game. Last year we were solid. But in this League you can’t afford to do that. We have been taught some harsh lessons.
“We should have gone up that first year. But oddly, Reading were the one team that had worked us out. There could have been a hangover but in the end we went up the best way. There was that amazing 23 game unbeaten run but then we faltered and people thought we had blown up, the wheels had fallen off. We were great in the semi-final against Derby and then at Wembley it was my best moment as a professional. It was a great feeling to get promoted to the Premier League.”
McDonald reiterated that head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is not going to sacrifice his style to secure survival, but believes his team-mates can cut out the errors that have cost them dear so far in the top flight.
“The manager is not going to change the way we play. That is not going to happen. But we have leaked some easy goals and the clinical side of things has been much more evident in the Premier League. These teams take their chances. That has killed us.
We can’t afford to be scoring three goals to win every game. That’s impossible. People thought that by spending £100m, Fulham were going to have a right go. But it’s harder than people think, bringing in quality players and thinking everything is going to work perfectly straight away.”
The charismatic midfielder revealed that he had no doubts about Aleksandar Mitrovic’s ability to score goals at the highest level, but called on his team-mates to chip in with regular goals in order to help Fulham’s cause.
“Mitro is clinical when he gets his chance, but we can’t rely on him every week,” says McDonald. “We need more players to chip, in whether it’s coming from midfield, set pieces, anything. There will be times when he has a bad game. He needs help, he can’t do it all on his own. The boss has says he wants more from the rest of us. There has to be. There is too much at stake.”