Wednesday 18 September 2019

Parker determined to delay Fulham’s relegation by avoiding defeat at Watford

Fulham’s relegation would be confirmed with a loss at Vicarage Road.

Scott Parker wants to delay Fulham’s relegation for as long as possible (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Scott Parker wants to delay Fulham’s relegation for as long as possible (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker does not want Watford to host their relegation wake.

The Cottagers travel to Vicarage Road on Tuesday night knowing a defeat will see them follow Huddersfield into the Championship with five games still to play.

Former Fulham midfielder Parker replaced Claudio Ranieri at the end of February, but his side have lost all four matches since.

Parker said: “I think a win is vitally important. The scenario is what it is, but it’s a massive game for us to not be relegated tomorrow night.

“The team, the club and everyone need a win. Performances have got better but ultimately we sit here with no wins for some time, so the result is key.

“We understand the situation and how tough it’s going to be to stay in this division. Even a draw could give us something to build on.”

Parker has overseen an upturn in performances, if not results, but he somehow needs to coax a first away win of the season out of his squad if they are to stay afloat at least until the weekend.

“That’s the biggest challenge, trying to keep players focused in the sense of our predicament,” he added.

“Of course confidence is low, it’s about trying to keep players motivated and trying to raise confidence.

“It’s been a tough year, really tough year. There are scars, that’s what happens when you are where we are.

“We have to lift it, keep raising the standards and hopefully things will turn and we’ll get some results.”

Parker was handed the job until the end of the season and maintains any personal ambitions have been pushed to one side.

“It doesn’t play a role with me, I think it should with the players,” he said.

“When you get relegated things change. As a player your future and where you are going to be next year is vitally important.

“Regarding myself, I’m in this position doing the best I can. I understand the role, but there is nothing personally I’m taking into this, I just want the best for the football club.”

Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the home defeat by Manchester City with an ongoing stomach muscle injury but he was able to train on Monday and could be involved.

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