Photo credit: Kenneth Yarham / Craven Cottage Football Ground /
Written by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker described his side’s recent upturn in fortunes as a ‘stepping stone’ towards an immediate Premier League return.
The Cottagers’ relegation to the second tier was confirmed after defeat against Watford, but the club have since recorded two consecutive victories – including a 1-0 triumph at Bournemouth yesterday.
Further pride was restored with Fulham’s first win under Parker against Everton a fortnight ago, and the ex-West Ham midfielder urged his players to turn their attentions to next season’s promotion charge.
He said: “I said it a few weeks ago that when you get relegated, there’s ultimately disappointment. But in football, as soon as you have a disappointment you then look on to the next thing, you can’t hang around thinking what could have been.
“Ultimately that was the message from us, to take the disappointment after the Watford game when we were confirmed as relegated.
“Winning is a habit, and next year we’re going to have to win as many games as we can because we’ve had a taste of this league and next year this is a league we want to back in.
“The last two performances have probably given us a little bit of a stepping stone to that target.”
The London outfit’s narrow success at Vitality Stadium marred any potential celebrations to mark Cherries boss Eddie Howe’s 500th game in management, after Aleksandar Mitrovic struck from the penalty spot early in the second half.
Parker later admitted his satisfaction with the result on the south coast, in what proved to be Fulham’s first maximum points haul on the road this campaign.
He added: “It’s back to back wins and obviously another clean sheet as well. So it’s been a good day really. I said after last week that the result was key, and the performance as well as first class. I’ll echo those words again this week.
“It was a fine performance after having to weather the storm a little bit against a very good Bournemouth side, certainly at home. We knew they would come out fighting and we knew it would be a quick start from them, and we were under it a little bit in the first half.
“I felt as we got through that and put our mark on the game, and in the second half we really controlled the game and played some lovely bits. Obviously we then got our noses in front and saw the game out, which was pleasing.”