Summer Transfer Madness Begins..

The season is over, and it is time for the summer transfer madness to begin.

After the season that Fulham have had, don’t be surprised when Fulham’s stars are at the heart of many rumours.

There’s plenty of interest in the players that stood out this season at Craven Cottage, but what must be remembered is that the club are aware of the talent they possess, and will make sure that they keep the spine of this squad together with the aim of promotion next year.

Personally, I do think that if a bid of around £20m came in for Cairney or £15m for Ryan Sessegnon, the club would have to consider it but considering there are only a few clubs that could pay those fees, I do expect Fulham fans to be happy with the business in a few months’ time.

Realistically, I can see the club looking to add three or four new faces this year, with hopefully one of those being the permanent signing of Tomas Kalas from Chelsea this summer. The Czech international formed a key part of the side and was a one man Thames Barrier at times for Slavisa Jokanovic, and with only 1 year left on his current deal at Chelsea, hopefully a permanent agreement can be made. But, that ball is firmly in Chelsea’s court for that deal, with the player costing our neighbours £5m a number of years ago. With Chelsea’s history of selling, it would be very hard to imagine Chelsea selling such a talented defender at a loss. Yes, he may not be in the plans of Antonio Conte, but this is a club that sold Oscar for £60m, Luiz for £50m and Begovic for a profit considering he has hardly played since his move. With this in mind, I’d imagine the fee for Kalas to be around £6m should he be sold this summer.

As for our other loanee from Chelsea, Lucas Piazon I honestly don’t know what his future is. The Brazilian was a bit of a shock signing last year, and initially joined the club on a 6 month loan deal after a mediocre season with Reading. Expecting Lucas to be a bit part player, I was surprised at how well he settled and took his chances when called upon. While I agree there are better players out there than Piazon, his passion and understanding of the football we play is highly beneficial and if the right price can be agreed, then I would welcome him back next year with open arms.

As for our final loanee, Chris Martin I’d be very surprised to see him back at Craven Cottage next season. Despite the £6m agreed price-tag incorporated in his loan spell, the Scottish forward signed a new contract at Derby, but stranger things have happened in football, and with Rowett now in charge of our Championship rivals, who knows if he is part of their long-term plans now McClaren has departed.

A very nervy summer for Martin awaits.

But, just like last year I’m expecting Fulham to shop abroad and to dive straight back into the Belgian market. The signings of Denis Odoi and Neeskens Kebano were a success, and while the Congolese forward took longer to settle, his impact on the side was noticeable scoring vital goals in the second half of the season.

Although Kebano is expected to stay and continue his development, our other signing from the Belgian League last season, Denis Odoi is expected to depart. Talks have begun between Fulham and Gent over a transfer, despite the full-back scoring twice and appearing over 30 times for Fulham this season. It’ll be a shame to see Odoi leave after just one year, as he played a more important role than many may think, filling the gap effortlessly left when Fredericks was injured or suspended and to find another full-back to fill a back-up role to Fredericks with the quality that Odoi has will be a very tough task this summer.

There were rumours that Gent star, Thomas Foket would be part of any potential deal for Odoi but with a number of top European clubs interested in the midfielder, it would be a coup should he swap clubs with Odoi this summer.

Foket hasn’t been the only rumoured transfer target this summer, with the likes of Vicari, Jackson Irvine and Jordan Hugill all being a ‘reported’ target this summer for Slavisa Jokanovic and the board.  While Vicari seems unlikely, it is interesting to be linked with Burton star, Irvine and Preston forward, Hugill as both seem rather uninspiring to me. While they may be players that work hard on the pitch, I would be hoping that the club focus on a higher quality of footballer this year.

While I appreciate that the money may be tight this summer due to Financial Fair Play, there is still a lot of business we can do. Should we lose Sessegnon to Spurs which seems to be linked by another outlet every day, we could splash the cash further. But, Sessegnon is expected for further talks with Fulham this month about his long-term aims, and I have a good feeling he may well sign a longer deal sooner rather than later.

As mentioned earlier, there will be plenty of interest in our key players this summer and they will form a part of the rumour mill on most days but take those stories with a pinch of salt.

First of all, there will be interest in Kevin McDonald after his stunning debut season, but considering the club paid £1.25m for him last summer, it would take a sizeable fee to see him depart and rumours that he is a £2m target for Nottingham Forest, Rangers & Brighton are way wide of the post. Considering he was a player of the year candidate and a vital cog in our team, any interested party would have to pay in the region of £5m for the club to entertain it.

There’s no chance that the board would sell a prized asset for just £750,000 profit after the season he has had.

As for Marcus Bettinelli being linked to Chelsea, this isn’t a story that is going to go away so quickly. The former England U21 goalkeeper has been scouted by Chelsea on a number of occasions and their interest in the player is high.

But, with Bettinelli regaining his place in the side at the tail end of the season, his next move will depend on where he stands in Jokanovic’s plans for the next twelve months. But, if I’m truly honest, I’d rather see Button depart than Bettinelli, as Marcus proved to be the better keeper with his sensational performances after his injury.

Finally, in an ideal world, I’d love to see Tomas Kalas return, and for Fulham to offer another Chelsea youth player a chance too in the shape of Lewis Baker. The young England U21 midfielder has experienced a few loan spells now, but after 15 goals in 39 games for Vitesse this season, he could suit our style and add real quality to our side. Then again, there will be Premier League interest in the young midfielder, especially after the U21 fixtures this summer but considering the success of Kalas and Piazon’s loans, we could provide the perfect place for Baker to make a name for himself in English football. While this is a far-fetched dream, I’d love to see it happen as I truly feel he has all the qualities needed to succeed in the modern game.

To conclude, it’s still very early days in this window and knowing Fulham like we do, they will do all their business on the quiet and probably most of it in July; and while that may be frustrating for some fans, have patience and faith in the recruitment team because last year they done a tremendous job of creating a side that our fans can be proud of once again.

Thank you ever so much for reading. Please feel free to tweet your thoughts to me @ABronsSmith

 

 

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A Time for Reflection: What an amazing journey this season has been.

As another season comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the roller-coaster journey of the last 12 months.

First of all, it’s been a great honour and pleasure to have blogged and produced content for the programme this season, and I can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support throughout the season.

But on the pitch, I think it’s safe to say we surpassed expectations this year. I remember writing the articles during pre-season and thinking that if we finished around 10th or 12th it would have a been a good season considering another summer overhaul and the sad performances that plagued our seasons since relegation.  So it is a surprise that a year on, I’m gutted to have watch our beloved club knocked out of the play-offs by Reading just last week. A result that in fact, hurt more than relegation for me but I think that’s due to having such a good end to the season and the optimism around the club kept on growing and that’s infectious!

Despite our strong opening month this season, Fulham began to hit a rocky patch and as we stumbled to Christmas with the occasional breath-taking performance, it wasn’t until the end of January and the end of the AFCON tournament that Fulham began to hit top form. Prior to the African Cup of Nations, Neeskens Kebano had failed to deliver and live up to the £4m price-tag that hung over his head from the summer, and Floyd Ayite’s return to the side was more than needed. Kebano’s 6 goals and 3 assists fuelled the resurgence in SW6, which was uncharacteristic as many fans were fear the worst when AFCON takes place due to fatigue and missing key fixtures, but on this occasion it was like a new signing.

Last summer I remember writing a paragraph about Kevin McDonald and potential fears about what he could bring to the side. But, fast forward to today and every game this season I have eaten humble pie. When Slavisa switched to a 3 man midfield of McDonald, Cairney and Johansen, Fulham began to dominate teams and although Cairney will get the media plaudits this season for his goals and assists, it will be McDonald who gets my Player of the Season vote. The summer signing from Wolves became the lynchpin in our side, allowing the creative players the freedom they needed to make things happen in the final third of the pitch. After every game, I remember my focus on McDonald becoming more and more apparent and the appreciation for the Scot grew. Not only did he read the game incredibly well, you could constantly watch him dictate the players and the play, even out of possession he’d be the constant voice keeping the players in their position, ensuring that the side stayed as rigid as possible during the defensive side of the game – something the squad has lacked since relegation and some may argue for even longer than that!

So, here it is – Kevin McDonald, you get my vote for Player of the Season and it’s been a pleasure to eat my doubts all season. What a man, what a player, what a leader.

But, we couldn’t do a season review without mentioning his midfield partners; Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen. Cairney’s stand-out performances earned himself a place in the Scottish National team, where he put in a solid display, earning more praise from international fans and I’d expect he will feature more regularly in the near future for Scotland. Even though Cairney may come a close second in my player of the season votes, he has been priceless this season and not only that, but has stepped up to captain the side this season in the absence of Scott Parker; and just like a true captain, he has lead from the front, setting the perfect example to his team-mates and aspiring youth players that have emerged over the course of the season.

This summer will be nerve-wracking for Fulham fans as his name will plastered in every Transfer Rumour post and column, but fingers crossed our captain will lead us to promotion next season. A player that epitomises everything that is great about our club and a terrific role model for anyone.

Finally, Stefan Johansen deserves a huge amount of praise for the season he has had in his debut year for the club. Despite being subbed in the first half of his debut, the Norwegian put the work in off the pitch to force himself into Jokanovic’s plans this season. His work ethic and desire to play a part in both ends of the pitch as proved to be the missing ingredient in the centre of the park. Being able to support McDonald in the defensive side of the game while making sure he can be an outlet for the likes of Cairney, Aluko and co in the final third of the pitch, there’s no surprise he managed to notch up an impressive 13 goals and 8 assists in all competitions. Just like the other two players, Stefan Johansen has proved to be an invaluable asset in the middle of the park, and if we are going to improve on our season next year, keeping these three together is the ultimate objective for the board.

While, the three midfielders have gathered the most amount of attention this season, there has been a massive amounts of improvement all over the pitch. In the heart of defence, Tim Ream looks like a rejuvenated player under Slavisa, and has developed a strong relationship with Chelsea defender, Tomas Kalas – a player that we hope is back at Craven Cottage next year. If I’m honest, I think Slavisa’s persistency to play out from the back has really benefited Ream’s performances, and finally suits the way the American would prefer to play.

Ream’s partner in defence, Kalas has been a superb addition to the side and if an agreement can be reached to keep the young Czech at the club, then it would be a coup for the club, considering his age and ability. Kalas would be a tremendous investment by the club if a reasonable fee could be agreed and I strongly feel that he will only get better, meaning that his value could rise should he join Fulham on a permanent basis and play on a regular basis – something he may not be able to achieve at Chelsea yet, or at another loan club.

To conclude, it’s safe to say there has been plenty of changes over the course of the season and plenty of ups and downs. Being the roller-coaster season that it is, I think everyone has learned a lesson or two, and looking back we’ve grown as a club and squad because of it. In my honest opinion, if we can keep this squad together for the next 18 months at least, there’s no reason why we couldn’t achieve automatic promotion in that time. There’s a great feeling around the club again, the players are settled and work in harmony with each other and the longer we keep them together, the better the results the fans will witness.

Lastly, I would love to thank you all for your help and support over the course of the season and I apologise for not updating this blog as much as I could have in the past 2 months. It’s been a tremendous season for Fulham and it’s going to be an exciting summer for us all, and I will make sure I will keep you in the loop with the latest as we start preparing for the new season.

Thank you ever so much for reading – If you have any feedback or want to contact me, please do tweet me @ABronsSmith.  

 

 

 

 

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

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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

Here’s to you, Kevin McDonald!

After a couple of disappointing results against Wolves and Blackburn in recent weeks, Fulham managed to scrape all three points from yesterday’s fixture against Rotherham.

While, it was sad to see Rotherham relegated due to our victory, Fulham couldn’t afford to come home with anything less than three points, considering how tight it is between ourselves and Sheffield Wednesday heading into the final play-off position. With, Sheffield Wednesday only drawing to Barnsley in the 94th minute, Fulham had a chance to leap-frog and finish the weekend in the top six. Despite our game against Rotherham being quite the scrappy affair, teams that get promoted out of the Championship still manage to get results even when they are playing poorly, and yesterday Fulham managed to do just that.

Fair play to Rotherham, they were always going to get men behind the ball and that’s something Fulham have struggled to break down and it’s generally the reason why we’ve conceded the goals we have this season, due to being hit on the counter after struggling to break down the defence in the final third. But, nonetheless Fulham got the job done and seeing our club in the top six considering where we were just a year ago is simply mind blowing.

At the start of the season, I suggested that a top 10 or 12 finish would be an achievement considering the poor displays we have shown since being relegated from the Premier League. With another summer overhaul, new manager and ideas to implement, I expected us to be inconsistent, but massive congratulations to the managerial staff and the players for coming together this season and providing the fans with a team they can be proud of. With Fulham now playing an attractive brand of football and getting results, it’s no surprise that our rise this season has been well-documented. Slavisa Jokanovic has managed to completely revolutionise the way we are playing, and has moulded together a squad that are all comfortable on the ball and are happy to be patient -even if I sometimes want us to play direct when things aren’t going our way!

We’ve come such a long way in the space of the year and with Slav’s future now secured, the future really is bright for Fulham once again, and I know I’m not the only one who feels like we finally have our Fulham back.

Throughout our achievements this season, it’s no surprise our attackers have received a lot of praise and attention and rightly so. While, Tom Cairney, Sone Aluko or Stefan Johansen may be stand out candidates for our Player of the Season award, my Player of the Season so far has been summer signing, Kevin McDonald.

Now, I have to hold my hands up as I questioned his ability upon signing, but since day one I have been made to eat humble pie. McDonald is the architect of this side and is the reason why our attackers have the licence to roam and freedom to play the way they do. Not only does McDonald have an incredible understanding of the game and breaking down play, but the Scot’s passing range is second to none. Having someone of his ability in the heart of the midfield is simply a joy to watch, and time after time this season he has been a wall in front of our back four and has dictated every game. Not only that, but even on some occasions the big Scot has been asked to fill in at centre-half and he effortlessly delivered.

After this seasons performances, it’s no surprise the club pursued the midfielder for nearly 2 seasons before joining and it’s incredible that the team at the top managed to secure his transfer for just £1.25m.

A midfield colossus, thank you Kevin McDonald.

To conclude, Fulham now face 7 cup finals before the end of the season, as they have to play the teams around them, including Huddersfield, Derby, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday. But on top of that, still have a tough game on the 17th April as they take on an in-form Aston Villa side. Despite a tough end to the season ahead of Jokanovic’s squad, the win against Rotherham to place us in the top six will bring our confidence back and will hopefully provide the momentum needed to secure ourselves in the play-offs come May.

Keep believing.

Thank you for your ongoing support and feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter @ABronsSmith.

Fulham Match Day Programme: Fulham 3 v 1 Preston. 04/03/2017

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Columnist Adam Brons-Smith believes something special is happening by the banks of the Thames…

What a difference a year makes at Fulham Football Club. At the end of last season, Slaviša Jokanović had guided the Whites to safety after a disappointing 2015/16 campaign. A year on, Fulham sit just outside the Play-Offs with every chance of still being promoted this season. Under Jokanović’s management, the Club have once again found
an identity, and it’s safe to say that something special is being built again on the banks of the Thames.

With Fulham dominating the possession stats and already amassing more wins this campaign than the entirety

of last season, the good times are coming back to Craven Cottage. Jokanović has done an incredible job over the past year and every fan must be thrilled that he’s signed a new contract, keeping him here for at least the next two years, and hopefully leading Fulham back to the highest tier in English football.

Unbeaten in the last three league games, some may have expected Fulham to take all three points at Cardiff, but in reality a draw away from home

isn’t a bad result. It keeps the momentum going in the league, and under Neil Warnock, Cardiff are a rejuvenated team. Whilst we certainly had our chances to win the game, other results went our way with teams below us failing to record victory. With 53 points on the table so far and Preston to face today, Fulham could move ever closer to the top six.

But this afternoon’s fixture will not be easy at all. Preston arrive in SW6 just a point below Fulham in ninth place. A win for Simon Grayson’s side could take them as high as seventh, leap-frogging Fulham in the process.
While Preston may not have the budget of some of the sides above and around us they’re a strong unit to break down. Expect at least one change in the Fulham starting XI today after Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon suffered a broken jaw at Cardiff and is expected to be out of action for a little while. Hopefully the Brazilian will be back before the end of our campaign as he’s proved himself to be a key asset in our current squad. Fulham have used the likes of Neeskens Kebano and Floyd Ayité in recent weeks to lead the line. It’s proved to be very successful with Kebano scoring against Wigan and Cardiff, and his deflected shot sealing victory against Nottingham Forest. Despite the disappointing news of Piazon’s injury, Jokanović has a plethora of talent to choose from. Although Fulham are still in transition, we’re moving forward as a club and making big progress. After securing Jokanović’s long-term future, Fulham have a Head Coach and a side they can truly get behind and love. COYW!

Thank you for your ongoing support and if you have any feedback or want to contact me, please tweet me @ABronsSmith

Cup Exit – But There’s Still Plenty To Play For

It’s safe to say Fulham are entering a very strange part of their season. After a disappointing performance at home to Tottenham this weekend, what does the future hold for Jokanovic’s men?

I don’t think anyone was truly expecting Neeskens Kebano to start as the lone forward against Spurs, and in fairness it was a massive ask considering he has rarely featured all season. The game plan was obvious from the opening fifteen minutes with the midfield hitting long-balls hoping to get the Congolese attacker in behind Alderweireld and Vertonghen, but it didn’t have much luck. With the side lacking much creativity in the final third, Spurs began to dominate the game and time after time the left-hand side of the defence in Scott Malone and Tim Ream looked vulnerable. While, I’m a big fan of the style of football Slavisa Jokanovic has brought to the team, we still suffer defensively. Our full-backs aren’t good enough going back, and even though Malone has scored plenty of goals this season, he’s in the side to keep clean sheets more than anything and needs to make sure he does the basics right. Although, Denis Odoi didn’t have the best of games, he was the better performing full-back for Fulham on this afternoon.

But this is where we need to look towards a ‘Plan B’, something that Jokanovic has struggled to do implement all season. Even though we have the level of quality to out-pass teams in this division, there has been too many times this season where we have simply got to the final third and passed the ball sideways. Without, Chris Martin in the side we lack a focal point, and when Fulham get to the opposition’s area, they are trying to play too cute between the lines rather than getting it wide and delivering the ball for the forward in the box. Against Spurs this happened time after time, and our attacks were easily snuffed out and Spurs regained their tempo. On the upside, we’ll never face a team as good as Spurs unless we get promoted, but it was a learning curve for all involved on how to play ‘stylish football with attacking full-backs’. But, we shouldn’t be afraid to adopt an ‘ugly’ approach if things aren’t going our way. If that means we have to play more structured and direct football then so be it, teams don’t get awarded points for style, and if we want to improve, sometimes we have to win a game by trying something new.

What hasn’t gone unnoticed in our recent fixtures is the lack of Chris Martin and although I’ve mentioned his presence in the paragraph above, he still has a vital role to play in this side. Yes, he has been a controversial character since Christmas, but considering the club allowed Cauley Woodrow and Matt Smith to leave this winter, Martin is our only viable target man in the squad – He gives us another dimension in attack. Martin has the ability to hold the ball up and bring our attacking midfielders into play, and it’s this system that brings the best out of our midfield. This dimension to our attack is lost, if we play with a smaller forward or an attacking midfielder as our number 9. While, the likes of Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano and Cyriac may be talented athletes, they are a complete different style of forward to Martin, and love him or hate him, we’re a better side with the Scot leading the line. When Martin is playing with his back to goal, we’re much more efficient and if that isn’t working, then Jokanovic should look at switching to a two forward formation to help provide some support upfront. With a more diminutive forward playing alone, we are forced to try and turn centre-halves or hit the ball to too long, which in all honesty, hasn’t worked whenever it has been tried.  With Fulham crying out for a ‘Plan B’, the club need to come together surrounding the situation with Martin, and forget about it as we have a very good chance of being promoted, if we accept the qualities of what we’ve got. Martin was the best option on the bench in recent games and has gone unused. Yes, we’ve won our last 2 league games 3-2, but they are both fixtures we should have won by a more comfortable margin.

In the last few entries of this blog, I’ve stressed the importance of the next 4-6 months at the club. We have an incredibly tough set of fixtures between now and the end of the season and a lot could change depending on where the club finishes this year. If we are promoted, then we’ll have to go on an impressive run and luck must be on our side. Even then, if we got promoted, a host of new contracts would have to be offered to key figures and at least £30-50m would have to be invested into the side.

But, at the start of the year I stated that if we finished in the top 10 it would have been a successful season. Now, many of the readers may think I’m being pessimistic or they make think differently, but we are a club in transition. We must remember that Slavisa Jokanovic joined us just over a year ago, and we’ve had to completely change personnel from the squads built by Felix Magath & Kit Symons, so we are still settling.

Development of Motspur Park has been completed and the plans for a stadium expansion are still underway with Shahid Khan continuing to improve the club’s assets. While we didn’t ‘splash the cash’ in January, it will be an incredibly important summer should we remain in the Championship. Slavisa Jokanovic still has a lot to prove, despite the upturn in performances this season, but with contract talks ongoing with himself and the board, sorting his future sooner rather than later will be a great boost to everyone involved. It will also allow more time for the board to prepare for the summer business, working with the manager to highlight targets and where the squad can be improved depending on our finish.

More importantly, there are a host of players we need make sure stay at this club for the next 2-3 years. The likes of Tomas Kalas (albeit on loan), Tom Cairney, Ryan Sessegnon, Stefan Johansen, Kevin McDonald & Ryan Fredericks to name a few who are probably our most valuable assets and fixtures of our team’s core and spine. If we can keep the majority of this squad together for at least the next 18 months, there’s no reason why we can’t get promoted from the Championship and return to the Premier League. We are blessed right now we some outstanding talent and with the right managerial setup and backing from the board, Fulham could have a very bright future on the horizon.

After being knocked out of the cup by Tottenham, Fulham have to make sure that they bounce back with an away victory at Bristol City on Wednesday. With Bristol City possessing the likes of Tammy Abraham, a goal machine at this level, Fulham need to record their third straight league win and put pressure on the chasing pack for promotion. Despite our cup exit, there’s still plenty to be optimistic and excited about at Craven Cottage. So keep the faith and let’s see if we can make something special from this season.

Thank you for your ongoing support and feedback for the Craven Corner. It really has been an amazing year both on the blog and in the match day programmes. Please do share the content and feel free to contact me on Twitter @ABronsSmith.

Thank you.