Supply the strikers

Thursday 1 August 2002

Sean Davis' goal must have been greeted with equal amounts of jubilation and relief at the end of Wednesday night's Intertoto Cup semi-final match against Sochaux.

Up until Davis' left-foot stunner finally transferred Fulham's tactical superiority over to the score sheet, the Fulham faithful inside Loftus Road could have been mistaken for thinking they were watching a repeat of the FC Haka match.

Such a comparison would, in fact, do an injustice to Fulham's performance.

With Sochaux being by far the best opposition the Whites have encountered so far in the Intertoto Cup, it's ironic that the level of domination shown by Fulham would have been more fitting against many of the part-time sides that occupied the earlier rounds of the competition.

Speaking after the match, manager Jean Tigana gave his assessment:

"We're playing for the UEFA Cup. It's important because it would be the first time the club has played in Europe.

"Tonight, it was very important to score and also not to concede. It was a very difficult game, that's for sure - but the team's not completely ready yet.

"Scoring is not a problem with the strikers as they need a good pass to score. The quality of final pass is the problem, not the strikers."

Turning to matters away from the match, Tigana revealed that he was disappointed to hear about the ankle injury picked up by Steve Finnan.

"It's not possible for him to play the first game in the championship - and that's a big problem for me," said Tigana.

"He might be able to come back to training in 10 days' time."