Fulham are on a high. A four game winning streak has propelled us from 8th to 3rd in the table and we now have a tiny cushion between ourselves and the teams below us. It’s a nice position to be in, but the form of West Brom and Leeds means that we have at least 5points to make up if we are to break into the automatic promotion places. The frantic nature of the Championship means that the games are coming thick and fast so by Christmas day, we know a lot could have changed.
We are about to enter a run of four extremely tough fixtures, all against teams in and around us. It’s an opportunity for us to continue to climb and to continue to stamp our authority on this promotion run, but if it goes badly wrong, we could easily undo all the good work that we have done since that awful 3-0 defeat to Hull at the start of November.
There are lots of positives to take from our performances over the past four matches. The form of Mitrovic is sensational, Marek Rodak has become instrumental in between the sticks and the transformation of Aboubakar Kamara shows that those working behind the scenes at Fulham are doing an incredible job. I was happy for us to get rid of Kamara in the summer. I doubted his footballing ability, his maturity and his commitment to the team, but I have been happily proved wrong. He seems to have developed a football brain, and the rest of the squad have clearly forgiven him for his antics last season. When Mitrovic was suspended I was concerned, but Kamara came in amidst a wave of criticism and panic from Fulham fans and showed us exactly why Scott Parker was right to have faith in him. He still has work to do, as do all footballers, but he seems to be a different player from last season.
Tomorrow we host a very decent Bristol City team, currently sitting in 5th place but just three points behind us. They battered Huddersfield Town last time out 5-2 and will be looking to draw themselves level with us with victory tomorrow. They have plenty of goals in their side with Andreas Weimann, Josh Brownhill and Famara Diedhiou all a handful for defenders. But as much as they are good going forward (they’ve scored the same amount of goals as we have in the league this season), only six teams have conceded more goals than they have so far.
One thing that fans going to the Cottage should remember; City fans are planning on paying tribute to Benik Afobe after the sudden death of his daughter last week. Afobe is injured at the minute but there will be some sort of tribute during the game.
If we want to be serious automatic promotion contenders, we have to be able to navigate a tough fixture schedule. The next four games will show us if we are as good as we think we are, or if we are nowhere near it.