Fulham’s fine win at Goodison Park on Sunday night might have surprised the Premier League and the pundits, but boss Scott Parker didn’t consider it a huge turn up for the books. The Fulham head coach has always retained a firm belief in the quality his had at their disposal and insists that the Whites are full of confidence as they bid to pick up more momentum in their fight against the drop at Burnley tomorrow night.
Parker told his pre-match press confidence that his squad are full of confidence after winning at Everton and that his team’s conviction didn’t waver even during their thirteen match winless run.
“It brings a massive belief. I always felt, and I still feel, that belief was never an issue in that sense, because there was a lot of football to be played and we’ve been very, very competitive. The other night, was there a big difference in performance? Not really. Granted, I thought we played very, very well, but we’ve played very well over the last run of fourteen games.
“We’ve had four defeats out of that, and those four defeats came against the top four in the division. We’ve been very, very competitive, we’ve played very, very good football. We’ve been a little bit short, which I think we’ve all recognised, in terms of that final detail and not being on the right side of that. We were the right side of that at the weekend and we won the game.
“But it’s fair to say belief, confidence, is there. You don’t perform like we’ve performed if confidence isn’t there, and there’s still a lot of football to be played. We now have a massive week of games ahead of us, we go to Burnley on Wednesday, Sheffield United at the weekend, and then Crystal Palace. Like I keep saying, we know what we need to do, we need to win football matches, and we’re at that point where we’re going into another big week, and there’s a big 16 games ahead of us.”
Parker is under no illusions about the size of the challenge Fulham will face at Turf Moor.
“It’s a really tough game. We understand that. What Sean’s done there over a period of time has been remarkable. They go into the game with a couple of injures that they’ve picked up. I think Ben Mee won’t be available due to concussion, Pieters came off so I think at this time of the year we’re all struggling a little bit in terms of the games and where we are. Like always, it’s a massive game for us ahead. We understand the problems that Burnley are going to cause us, and we need to be prepared for it.”
Parker admitted to being disappointed about Aleksandar Mitrovic’s unavailability after the Serbian striker tested positive for coronavirus, but told the press that Mitrovic was ‘doing fine’.
“He’s good, at this present moment in time he’s got mild symptoms of the virus. Of course it’s disappointing for Aleks, because at this moment I felt like he was coming out the other side of what’s been a bit of a tough season. But it’s disappointing to pick up the virus and now have to be away from the group and away from us at a big time where we need him as well.”
The Fulham boss will likely have to call on Josh Maja, who scored twice against Everton, to lead the line once again – and Parker was full of praise for the impact his new signing has made.
“What a way to start, full Premier League debut for us and to score two goals and for us to win the game – it was pretty special for him really. I’m really conscious; I don’t want to put a lot on someone so young’s shoulders but I’ve been very impressed in the short space of time I’ve been working with Josh and hopefully that can continue really.
“He’s fitted in very, very well. I think he’s come into a young group, a real energetic upbeat group of players and he’s fitted in to that bracket very, very well. He’s also fitted in in a short space of time as one who wants to learn, a player who wants to get better and I think that’s vitally important when you come in to where we are and he’s made those strides very, very easily.”