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Fulham’s French legion loving life under Coleman

Fulham’s French contingent are loving life under new manager Chris Coleman, according to Louis Saha and Jerome Bonnisel.

Plenty of the Fulham faithful were worried that there could be an exodus of the club’s French players following the departure of Jean Tigana towards the end of last season. But, according to the French legion themselves, they are now even closer to Tigana’s replacement, former club captain Chris Coleman.

Saha, who has been in irresistible form up front this term, told L’Equipe: “Last year, there were lots of problems at the club which disturbed the team and and life within the squad. The finger of blame was pointed at us, the Tigana boys. We were not a very close squad. As soon as Chris took over, the squad had a soul again. Everybody agrees with the coach’s speech. The biggest difference with Tigana is feeling. Coleman listens to us players. He’s like another team-mate, only he’s on the bench.”

Left back Bonnissel credited Coleman for Fulham’s fabulous 3-1 win at Manchester United last weekend.

“We took enormous pleasure at Old Trafford. Coleman is a young manager who knows all the tricks.”

Utility man Martin Djetou also agreed that the atmosphere at the club has been transformed since Coleman took charge.

“The atmosphere is much healthier this season. The English press promised us hell and relegation at the start of the season. It also helped make us progress. It was a motivation.”

Bonnissel blasts Rangers

Rangers reject Jerome Bonnissel last night signed a two-year deal with English Premiership outfit Fulham – and then blasted Ibrox boss Alex McLeish for discarding him “like an old paper handkerchief”.

The 30-year-old former Bordeaux defender, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Ibrox, impressed Fulham boss Chris Coleman during the Cottagers’ recent training camp in Austria.

Ironically, Bonnissel is now set for a quick return to Scotland when he makes his Fulham debut in their friendly against Livingston at Almondvale on Tuesday night.

And the Frenchman admitted he is still bitterly disappointed that he won’t be playing his football north of the border this season after claiming he had a verbal agreement to extend his six-month stay with Rangers.

He said: “I wanted to stay at Rangers, I had six great months in Scotland.

“And even today, Rangers are still looking for a left-back, so there was a problem.

“I don’t understand. I’ve shown at Montpellier, Deportivo, Bordeaux and Rangers that I’m good enough and I’m not 40 years old. I’m very sad. I’ve always given my best everywhere and look at the result.

“Players these days get thrown away like paper hankies, we are nothing.

“There was a great squad there, I made a lot of friends among the players and was all set to extend my contract.

“The management was in agreement and then in the end they changed their minds.

“Management don’t care. They buy you and sell you, buy you and sell you.”

Fulham sign Bonnissel

Fulham have confirmed the signing of French full-back Jerome Bonnissel on a two-year contract after a successful trial with the club.

The 30-year-old former Bordeaux and Deportivo La Coruna defender ended last season with SPL champions Rangers, but was allowed to leave at the end of a short-term deal. The 30 year-old was invited to join Fulham’s pre-season tour of Austria and has impressed enough to earn a permanent contract.

The French international told Fulham’s official website: “I joined up with Fulham for the training camp in Austria and enjoyed the trip immensely. I like the work that Chris Coleman and Steve Kean do with the players and the camaraderie within the squad and I am very happy to be part of that. I look forward to this season’s campaign and especially to playing in the Premiership for the first time in my career.”

Fulham take Bonnissel on trial

Fulham are set to take a look at former Rangers full back Jerome Bonnissel, with manager Chris Coleman inviting the Frenchman for a trial.

The 30-year-old was allowed to leave Ibrox at the end of last season after just four appearances, having joined the Gers in January on a short-term deal from Bordeaux.

Bonnissel, 30, has also played for Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna during his career, having started out with Montpellier.

The left back has also won a handful of caps for the French national team and will join up with the Cottagers on their pre-season tour to Austria