Play-off First Leg: Match Day Programme, Saturday 13th May – 5:30pm. Fulham 1-1 Reading

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Text:
The Craven Corner

Fulham’s future is bright, according to columnist Adam Brons-Smith…

Twelve months ago, we were banging our heads together trying to figure out what the future held after two disappointing years in the Championship. Fast-forward to today and we have a club and a team we can be proud of.

At the start of the season, I predicted we’d finish around 10th or 12th, so to end the campaign in sixth and five points above Leeds in seventh is an incredible achievement.

The job that has been done by everyone at the Club, both on and off the pitch, has been nothing short of amazing, but even after 46 league games,our season isn’t over. Today could be the turning point in our Club’s history and the beginning of something special.

While Slaviša Jokanović has already built a very talented squad and reshaped our footballing philosophies, his biggest job will start this afternoon as we begin our journey in the Play-Offs and hopefully secure a return to the Premier League.

Since February, Fulham have became the in-form side of the division. We’ve defied the odds already and I strongly believe we’ll continue to surpass expectation and achieve what most people thought was unthinkable at the start of the season – promotion.

But, if there’s been one thing that this league has taught us, it’s that there are no easy games and nothing can be taken for granted. All you have to do is look at last season’s table and see where both Reading and

Today could be the turning point in our Club’s history and the beginning of something special” Adam Brons-Smith

Fulham finished in comparison to this term’s standings. Not only that, but back in December Fulham beat Reading 5-0 at home. Yet, just a month later, Reading got their revenge with a 1-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium. So, just like every game for the past month or so, we have to treat these remaining matches like a cup final to make sure we perform to the best we possibly can and continue our end-of-season momentum throughout these Play-Off fixtures.

Momentum and consistency were two words that I constantly discussed last summer and it was these two aspects that would define our season. Despite our form

fluctuating throughout the first half of the season, Fulham began to settle in 2017 and players began to adjust to the methodology their coaches wanted. With this, Fulham started to get noticed and the ‘spine’ of our team became more apparent. With a concrete midfield of Kevin McDonald, Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney, Fulham’s identity grew and their possession-heavy football began to get noticed on a wider scale. A rejuvenated Tim Ream returned to the side and proved to be the ideal partner for Tomas Kalas. As
the side became settled, our points total grew and the fans’ belief and optimism developed alongside that week after week.

Luckily, Fulham start the Play-Offs with a full-strength side and, with Chris Martin available once again, the only selection headache for Slaviša will be who leads the line.

I don’t expect the same result today as we witnessed back in December, but I do hope
that Fulham make their home advantage count. We now have three games left to create history and return to the highest tier in English football. COYW!

Tweet your thoughts to me @ABronsSmith

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