Scott Parker says he’s ready to be judged on his record as Fulham’s caretaker manager – and he believes that back-to-back wins over Everton and Bournemouth prove he could be a good permanent appointment.
Fulham’s torrid run of nine straight Premier League defeats ended a fortnight ago with a 2-0 home win over Everton, followed by a 1-0 triumph away at Bournemouth, winning praise for Parker, who took over from Claudio Ranieri.
In those two games, Fulham registered back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season, something Parker was particularly pleased with.
“It’s always nice to hear that players I’m coaching are appreciative of what we’re doing,” said Parker.
“That’s helpful, but ultimately I’ll get judged on results and what my team looks like every weekend, and I’m fine with that.
“At times this year we’ve been quite naive, but certainly over the last matches we’ve managed games really well and protected our goal.”
Relegation-threatened Cardiff visit Craven Cottage on Saturday, with Neil Warnock’s side three points adrift of Brighton.
Fulham could feasibly pip Cardiff to 18th place if Parker can mastermind three victories, but the Englishman said the Bluebirds will pose one of the toughest tests for his side.
“I think Cardiff have done remarkably well and full credit to Neil for what he’s done,” said Parker.
“To still be in with a shout with three games left is a fantastic achievement.
“It will be one of the toughest games we’ve had because it’s a team scrapping for their lives and that’s because of who their manager is.
“I think it would mean a lot to everyone to win a third game in a row.
We want to send people to work on Monday with a smile on their face.”
According to Parker Ryan Babel’s future at Fulham will depend on the contract offers he receives, but the club is not intending to stop him from leaving.
The Dutch forward signed from Besiktas until the end of the season, but has indicated he would like a move away from Craven Cottage in order to play top-flight football ahead of Euro 2020.
Parker said he accepted Babel’s desire to move, saying Fulham will be on the lookout for any players of the Dutchman’s quality.
“He has been fantastic for us and his next move will depend on offers,” said Parker of Babel, who has four Premier League goals in his 13 appearances this season.
“I completely understand that and won’t be holding him back.
“But we like him a lot, he’s been a massive part of what we’ve been doing and if there’s a possibility of signing a player of his calibre, he’d be top of the list.”
Parker admitted that Fulham’s relegation does mean there will be changes to the squad, with players coming in and going out.
But with Juventus now among the club’s interested in Ryan Sessegnon, and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goalscoring catching the eye, Parker acknowledged that keeping Fulham’s best players may prove difficult.
“Relegation brings a lot of disappointment and uncertainty, and you understand the squad is going to change,” said Parker.
“When you’re at a football club with quality players, you’re in a position that if clubs come in and the players don’t want to be at the football club, you have a tough decision.
“But the owners are very positive and will be doing everything in their power to keep the squad as strong as possible going into next season.”