Davis exclusive

Wednesday 16 October 2002

For a young player making his third division debut with a club close to going out of business, the prospect of playing top-flight football surrounded by multi-million-pound stars would have seemed fanciful indeed.

But for Fulham's young midfielder Sean Davis, the unbelievable has happened, and here he is, at the heart of a team lying sixth in the Premiership and progressing nicely in the UEFA Cup. It's difficult to say which has been the most miraculous, Sean's rise to the top, or the fact that he is still playing for the same club that was on the verge of bankruptcy and the oblivion of non-league football just a few short years ago.

By his own admission, he struggled to come to terms with the Premiership last season, but this term he has been a powerhouse. Anyone who saw his impressive second-half display against Tottenham as he dragged his team back into the game, will surely join the growing chorus of "Davis for England" chants.

Having the confidence of the manager behind you when things aren't going as well as they might, is vital for a player, and Davis is quick to acknowledge how important Jean Tigana's support has been to him.

"Last year wasn't the greatest season for me" he said, "But I can only give my best. If I do that and things come right, then it's good for me and the club."

"If the manager doesn't play you than it doesn't do much for you. I have to thank the boss; he keeps playing me week in week out. Playing in the Premiership is a big experience so I just look forward to being involved in every game."

Davis laughs off the England rumours, and the fact that Sven Goran Eriksson was in the Loftus Road crowd the other week.

"I think he was watching Zat Knight not me!" he said, "I'm not ready for that yet; I don't think I'm good enough at the moment."

Next up of course is the big one - Manchester United. Fulham showed no fear against their illustrious opponents last season and gave them a good run in both matches. Davis is confident that there will be more of the same this time round, but he also concedes that there will have to be improvements on the performance seen against Charlton.

"Manchester United are one of the best teams in the league," he said, "But no matter which team we are playing against I always try to give my best.

"Hopefully we can improve on the Charlton performance. I think that was the worst we've ever played and yet we still got the three points. But we'll need to improve on that if we're going to get anything against United.

"Last season we could have played ten times better than we did against Charlton, but we'd still end up losing. Getting three points is the main thing, but obviously the fans want to be entertained and see a good team performance.

"We took the game to United last season but came away with no points. It's a hard one to call this time round; hopefully we can go into the game positively and get something from it. If it's a boring game and we get something from it, I'll take that, but hopefully we can get a good performance and a good result at the same time."