Welcome break

Tuesday 6 November 2001

Fulham assistant boss Christian Damiano has welcomed the international break to help last season's first division champions adapt to life in the Premiership.

The Premiership newcomers entered the two-week break after earning their first away win of the season, a 2-0 victory at London rivals West Ham on Saturday, and manager Jean Tigana's right-hand man insists it is just what is needed at Craven Cottage.

Damiano said the coaching staff were satisfied with the performance that lifted Fulham up the table.

"It was a good game for Fulham," he said. "West Ham were pushing us and giving us a lot of defensive difficulties. Attack was the best thing for us to beat them.

"We were always looking to play the ball and we were unlucky in previous games not to get the results and referee decisions.

"We only have three or four players going away during this international break, so it's going to be a good time for recovery and to take time to adapt to the Premiership."

Damiano also revealed record £11.5m signing Steve Marlet will be out until Christmas with a hairline fracture of the leg. The French striker received the knock in a tackle in Fulham's game against Southampton earlier this month.

He added: "Steve Marlet needed to time to adapt when he arrived after returning from Chile with the national team. He then got injured against Southampton, but some players need for time to adapt than others.

"For Sylvian Legwinski and Steed Malbranque now is a good time, but perhaps not so for Marlet. But all players need time and even Zinedine Zidane needed time at Real Madrid."