Scott Parker is delighted with Fulham’s dramatic recent improvement – claiming that side are no longer ‘the laughing stock’ of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow night’s meeting with Manchester United.
The Fulham manager has ambitious goals for the remainder of the season and remains confident that his side can beat the drop. Parker feels that a combination of their poor displays in their last top flight season and a dreadful start to this campaign meant his charges were written off by the pundits far too easily.
We’ve done remarkably well considering where we were at the start of the season. We were probably a laughing stock in terms of how people were portraying us. But never was that the case in house, never was that the case from myself or the players.
It was clear, wasn’t it? There was a narrative around us at the start of the season, a narrative that was helped by our previous time in this division. We lost two games by more than two goals and that narrative was instantly in people’s heads. ‘Oh look, it’s the same Fulham, that’s what’s going to happen this time around.’
Parker admits he has used some of the punditocracy’s predictions as motivation for his squad, but reiterated that his side have enough quality to stay in the top flight. Whilst many have commented on how the young manager has reshaped his team by switching to three centre backs, Parker insists his team still play stylish possession football that is easy on the eye.
People were blurred a little bit by what happened the last time we were here and I can understand why. It was certainly an area we needed to address to have a chance of doing well. It was clear, everyone was along the same lines, that it was going to be tough for us. We’ve done remarkably well to be able to fight and punch our weight. We’re not just doing it with determination and grit but with a real style about us, and it’s clear people can see a real drastic improvement in our game. But it’s coming down to results now. We’ve got a lot of draws and we need to turn them into wins to stay in this division.
Parker’s side were unfortunate to see their impressive six-match unbeaten run come to an end against Chelsea at the weekend, with the Whites being reduced to ten men on the stroke of half-time. Another stern test awaits on Wednesday as league leaders Manchester United visit Craven Cottage, before two crucial clashes against relegation rivals Brighton and West Brom.