Fulham left-back Franck Queudrue still hopes to win a first France cap – and believes the club’s progress can help him achieve his ambition.
The 28-year-old former Lens defender joined Fulham in the summer after a five-year spell with Middlesbrough.
He excelled for the Cottagers in their 2-1 win over Charlton on Monday night and said: “I know the job pretty well and I’m never one to give up.
“Yes, of course, I hold out hope for a (France) call-up, but I stand by the fact that the only way you can be selected is if you are performing for your club. I was trusted to produce the goods when I came here and it is my responsibility to do just that.
“I will always do my best and show passion for the game – and after that it becomes a matter of what the club can achieve. Fulham finished 12th last season and now the aim must be to push on into the top 10. We’ve done well, losing just twice in the Premiership so far this season.
“And the next step after establishing ourselves in the top 10 must be to qualify for Europe. I feel Fulham has great potential and can do that in the coming years by way of league position or winning cups.”
Fulham may have failed to sign a new centre-back in the transfer window but boss Chris Coleman is happy with his existing defence.
The Cottagers were busy on the final day of business with Steed Malbranque joining Tottenham and Wayne Routledge moving in the opposite direction in a season-long loan deal.
Sylvain Legwinski signed for Ipswich, Coleman swooped for Czech goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka from FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Jaroslav Drobny’s contract was terminated.
Fulham fans will have been disappointed by the club’s inability to sign a new striker amid reports they were chasing Middlesbrough’s Massimo Maccarone.
But many believe it is the defence that is in most urgent need of reinforcements with the 5-1 opening-day drubbing at Old Trafford confirming suspicions that were raised last season.
Coleman, however, believes he already has sufficient numbers at the back.
“We’ve been looking at the defence. We bought Franck Queudrue while in pre-season Zat Knight looked very sharp,” he said.
“He looked like he had a point to prove, something I didn’t see for long periods last year.
“But Ian Pearce and Phillippe Christanval played very well together in pre-season and looked good against Bolton and Sheffield United.
“The penalty against Bolton had nothing to do with them. Zat played a lot of games last season and we didn’t keep enough clean sheets.
“That wasn’t just because of Zat, but Zat was a part of the defence. Our defence will stay the same until we have a couple of poor games.”
Veteran centre-back Pearce was singled out for heavy criticism after the Old Trafford debacle but following solid displays against Bolton and Sheffield United, Coleman insists keeping him fit is the biggest concern.
“People look at modern-day centre-halves who are often lightning quick and good on the ball. But nine times out of 10 they don’t know where to stand,” he said.
“They can make up that ground if they’re quick but their starting positions are wrong for everyone else. Ian Pearce is not electric but he’s quick enough and has a good head on him.
“Keeping Pearcey fit is the main thing. He’s had a lot of problems with his back because he’s a big lad. If we get 20-25 games out of him and he keeps on doing what he’s doing, then I’ll be delighted.”
Routledge’s arrival has helped ease the disappointment at the departure of Malbranque.
Coleman was desperate to offload the French contract rebel before the window closed with Tottenham replacing West Ham as his preferred destination.
But in terms of proven Premiership performers, it has been a lean summer for Fulham who have only signed Queudrue and Jimmy Bullard with top-flight experience.
Fulham have confirmed for the signing of Middlesbrough left back Franck Quedrue for a fee believed to be around £2m.
The 27 year-old defender has signed a four-year contract having decided to seek a new challenge after four years in the north east. Quedrue made 199 appearances for Middlesbrough, who he helped reach the UEFA Cup final last season.
The French full back told Fulham’s official website: “I met boss Chris Coleman and was impressed with his ambition for the future. He spoke with great passion about what he wanted to achieve long term and I am happy to be part of those plans.”
Coleman said he was delighted to complete Fulham’s fourth summer signing. “He is a gifted player with great skill, and I know that he will make a difference to our back line. I am planning for the future here at Fulham and I know that the additions we have made this summer and back in January have increased our chances of long term success and I am very excited about the future.”
Middlesbrough have allowed Franck Queudrue to link-up with Premiership rivals Fulham.
The French full back is keen to end his stint on Teesside and now looks set to pen a deal with Fulham.
Charlton had expressed a late interest, but The Cottagers are on course to seal his signature.
Fulham are currently on a pre-season tour in Austria and Queudrue has been allowed fly out and join them, even though his move is not finalised.
“The deal is not yet completed but we have allowed Franck to fly out to Austria and join Fulham at their training camp because we believe that it will be done,” said Boro chief executive Keith Lamb.
Middlesbrough have allowed Queudrue to depart as they have already signed his replacement in the shape of Sunderland’s Julio Arca.
Middlesbrough defender Franck Queudrue has revealed that he wants to quit The Riverside, with the Frenchman saying a move to Fulham could be on the cards.
Queudrue has proved to be one of Boro’s most consistent performers over the past four seasons, having made the move from Lens in 2002, with his committed displays winning him many fans on Teesside.
However, it would appear as if his Middlesbrough career is drawing to a close – as his representatives are locked in talks with Chris Coleman’s Fulham.
“I want a departure,” Queudrue told But! “But it is not only me who makes this decision. With Fulham, the negotiations are at the most advanced stage.”
Queudrue has other irons in the fire, as he claims clubs in France are trying to lure him back to Ligue 1.
“I have some preliminary contacts in France but, firstly, the clubs have to sell their left full back,” added the 27-year-old defender.