Flexibility the key

Wednesday 21 August 2002

The 4-1 win over Bolton in the opening game of the season saw the Whites rack up their highest Premiership goal tally in a single match so far. Two goals from Sylvain Legwinski and a penalty each from Louis Saha and Steve Marlet ensured that Fulham got off the best possible start.

Speaking in Saturday's matchday programme, manager Jean Tigana looked back over the Club's summer loan signings and explained in further detail his plans for the forthcoming season.

"Midfield is one area that needed to be strengthened for us just because it is a long season and you need many good players," said Tigana.

"I also wanted to sign a left-sided midfielder but we missed out on some of the players we wanted. Inamoto is also a player who can score goals. Signing him on loan was a good opportunity for the player and for Fulham.

"Martin Djetou is another of the loan players and I know him very well because he played for me at Monaco. I tried to sign him for Fulham last summer but he was too expensive for us so I said no.

"He can play in many different positions as a defender or in midfield. If you want to change the system with three at the back he can do this. He is a very strong and versatile player but he has had to have a minor knee operation since he arrived at Fulham.

"Pierre Wome is another player on loan. He is a player I knew from his performance at the Olympics where Cameroon won the Gold Medal. He plays as a left-back or left midfield. I already have Rufus as a left back and if with Wome in the squad we now have the possibility to send Harley out on loan."

Whilst the summer signings have undoubtedly added more depth to the squad, Tigana also revealed that we was looking for a more flexible approach from his players.

He said, "For some games this season it may be possible to change the system. But you can only change the system if you have the players to do this. But for some games it will be possible for us to do this.

"Last season we played the same system for most games, however sometimes we need to change the system - even during the match as well as between different games. In every game it is necessary to find the solution."

"Scoring goals was part of our problem last season and we have had many many sessions in the summer on this. A big part of this is has been to try to restore the confidence of the players as this is their biggest problem with scoring goals. The players have the ability but they need more confidence. But the problem was not only the strikers - it was the midfield and the defence also."