Peyton ready

Wednesday 29 May 2002

Last season saw the return on one of Fulham's favourite sons when Gerry Peyton took up his role as Goalkeeping Coach.

Having already been a successful coach in Sweden and Japan, Gerry's appointment appeared to satisfy all of the required criteria: a top class coach as well as having a Fulham background.

Speaking at the Club's Motspur Park training ground, Gerry looked back on his first season back at the Club and gave his assessment.

"Our first season in the Premiership was a learning process for everyone really, from the administration staff right through to the coaches and players.

"Playing against the best teams every week and keeping the consistency was very important. Looking back at the season, we reached the quarter-final of the Worthington Cup, the semi-final of the FA Cup and attained respectable mid-table finish, you'd be happy to take that as a start.

Gerry continued, "If we had won just one more game, we would have finished tenth. In the end our season balanced on three points."

With Fulham riding on the crest of a wave following the First Division Championship win, reality had to hit home sooner or later.

"The expectations from the previous season, having just won the First Division, were that we would finish in the top six. A lot of the Premiership sides have been in the top flight for decades. The top sides like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are institutions.

"We've taken them on with a team that's nowhere near as big which shows great management. The most important thing for me was staying in the Premiership so we can mount a more serious challenge next season."