Scott Parker is counting down the moments until he can lead his Fulham side out at Wembley Stadium.
The Championship Play-Off Final will mark the end of his first season in management, when the Whites do battle with local rivals Brentford for a place in the Premier League.
It’s often coined “the richest game in football,” but Parker insists his team will not be focusing on that when they step out under the arch.
“In terms of the money behind the game and what that brings, it’s something that we can’t control,” he said. “What we can control is how we go out there tomorrow night and perform.
“We’ll go about our business in a professional way, play our way and really put a stamp on the game, and give yourself an opportunity to win the match. That’s what we’ll be doing.
“We’re extremely excited about tomorrow night’s game. I’m certainly excited, I’m looking forward to it, and I’m very, very proud as well.
“I spent a long time here as a player, since I’ve been here there’s been a lot of downs, probably more than there have been ups, so in terms of that I’m very proud to lead the team. It’s been a long, hard fought season to get to where we have, to take it to the final game.
“The one disappointing factor is that the fans cannot share this moment with us. When you get to a Final at Wembley, if there’s one time the fans deserve to support us then it’s at these moments.
“I’m disappointed for them, but that’s the current world we live in. But the players see their support through social media, and that’s much needed.”
There is plenty of pre-match media activity ahead of such a big fixture, with one Brentford player suggesting that Fulham will go into the tie “afraid” having lost both our meetings this season.
It’s a notion that Parker quashed completely.
“No, I don’t believe that at all,” he stated. “It’s a Play-Off Final, and the dynamics of a Play-Off Final, the dynamics of the stadium, what’s at stake, I think everything gets eradicated from previous games.
“That’s exactly how I see it. This game is about a lot more than past experiences and previous performances.
“Of course we realise the challenge ahead of us, and that challenge is we’re playing against a very good team, a team that finished on the same amount of points as us this season and were divided [from Fulham] by goal difference.
“They’re a good side, we understand that, but at the same time I fully believe in what we’re doing, I fully believe in my squad, I fully believe in the occasion and where we’re going to have to go in terms of the game to get a result.
“I firmly believe my players can do that, so that’s exactly how I see the dynamics of this football match panning out.
“This game has been our focus throughout the whole of this year. This is not a game that all of a sudden has just sprung up on us.
“Our aim was to get promoted. We realise that you can get promoted from this division via the top two, if not then we’ll go via Wembley if we can.
“We always knew that goal and that journey and where that journey was going to bring us. We were very clear and had a laser focus about us.”
Parker also revealed in his press conference that he will have a full squad of players to choose from going into the game, which will be music to the Fuham faithful’s ears after Aleksandar Mitrovic missed both legs of the semi-final.
“We’re full strength,” he confirmed. “Everyone’s fit for tomorrow night.
“I’ve got a full squad to pick from so now it’s down to me to work out the best dynamics to try and win the football match.
“But in terms of injuries, and where the squad is, everyone’s fit, everyone’s trained over the last few days, so we’re all good.”