One result

Thursday 5 September 2002

It's disappointing for players and fans alike when a bad defeat is followed by a ten day break. Everybody wants an early opportunity to prove that the upset was just a hiccup in an otherwise serene passage up the league table, and that's exactly the case with Fulham this week.

After suffering at the hands of pointless and bottom West Brom last Saturday, the players now have to fester until next Wednesday before they can get the frustration out of their system.

On the other hand, the opposition on Wednesday couldn't be better, with top of the table Tottenham the visitors. Spurs beat Fulham three times last season, and that should provide the perfect fillip for the players to roll up their sleeves and show what they are made of.

Tottenham have put together some impressive results so far this season, but their performances have been far from convincing - reports from White Hart Lane on Saturday suggested that Southampton were unlucky not to have won the game; instead they went down to a last minute penalty defeat.

So there's plenty to look forward to. Left back Rufus Brevett, arguably Fulham's man of the match against West Brom, echoed that thought - and was also remarkably candid about how poor it was on Saturday.

"We're not happy with the result or the performance," he said, "We didn't really create anything in the match. It was very disappointing because we lost an opportunity to stay in touch with the leaders - I know it's only a few games in but it's definitely an opportunity lost.

"We knew what to expect - we'd played them in the Cup, but it just didn't happen for us on the day. They were strong, they worked hard, but really that's all they had. They work very well as a team and they make it very difficult for you, but they haven't got the players that we've got and that's why it's so disappointing.

"Roberts caused us problems with his pace and his strength, but it's what we've been up against before and we should have been able to handle it."

There were suggestions that Fulham went into the game over-confident after their stunning victory over Bologna, and that perhaps the desire for the win wasn't all it should be. Brevett was quick to refute that.

"We were up for it all right," he said, "We went there wanting to win the game, and thinking that we could. After the Bologna result everyone was on fire, and it was a good opportunity for us - but I think it would be wrong to say that they wanted it more than us.

"I think we've learned from last season. I think we progressed a lot in the Intertoto Cup and ended up beating a very good team in Bologna. But then we went to West Brom and it just didn't work- but it's important not to get too carried away -it's just one game and we've got another game coming up to put it right.

"People were saying that this was where West Brom's season started, and really that made us want to beat them even more. But it was a difficult game and sometimes that happens in football."

Brevett confirmed that the team can't wait for the next game. They're desperate to prove the doubters wrong, and they all feel they owe Spurs one.

"There's no doubt that Tottenham have become a bit of a bogey team for us," he said, "They gave us a bit of a lesson at their place. But it's going to be a completely different game from the West Brom one; it's two teams who like to play football, so it should be a good entertaining game.

"Just because we've lost one game against West Brom, it doesn't make us a bad side. I don't think the fans think that, so we haven't anything to prove to them, at least I hope we haven't because I think that the support they've shown us so far has been fantastic.

"My message to the fans is a simple one - just get behind us. We can't do it without them."