Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker says it is going to be a “big year in a difficult league” for the club in the Sky Bet Championship next season.
The Cottagers have already been relegated from the Premier League and face Bournemouth, Cardiff, Wolves and Newcastle in their final four fixtures.
Fulham spent over £100m in the summer after they were promoted to the top flight for winning last season’s Championship play-off final but are preparing for a return to England’s second tier after just one year.
“It’ll be beneficial for everyone to take this time to really focus, reassess and plan for next year,” Parker said on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.
“It’s going to be a big year, in a difficult league.
Now is an opportunity to get ahead of the game. “
Parker is widely tipped to take the reigns at Craven Cottage on a full-time basis and his pursuit for the manager’s job was boosted by an impressive 2-0 win over Everton last time out.
The 38-year-old, however, insists beating Bournemouth will be a “tough task” after they hammered Brighton 5-0 away from home in their last match.
“The Everton win was a relief for everyone,” Parker added.
“Performance-wise, at home, it was very, very pleasing.
“We’re playing against a very good team [Bournemouth], with a first class manager.
It’ll be a tough task for us, but we go into it with massive confidence after a strong performance. “
Parker confirmed that Saturday’s match is likely to come too soon for the injured Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
“Timothy Fosu-Mensah is struggling to be fit for the weekend,” he said.
“He has knee ligament issues. “