Lots in reserve for Marlet

Wednesday 18 September 2002

Steve Marlet believes dropping him to the reserves was a good idea and manager Jean Tigana may have to do it again.

The £11.5million club-record signing missed out on his side's 3-2 win against Tottenham last week and played in a second-team game against Queens Park Rangers instead.

He said he needed a break after picking up a minor injury in a tough match for France and getting a less competitive run-out than is possible in the Premiership did him good.

Marlet returned to Fulham's first team last Saturday to score in the 3-0 win at Sunderland and is full of selfbelief ahead of tomorrow's first-round UEFA Cup tie at Hajduk Split.

He said: "I had no problem playing for the reserves and it was good for me because I scored three goals. It was like a training session and helped my confidence.

"I decided with the manager to have a break because I had played a tough game for the national team and had been kicked. I think it was a good idea and soon we have two games in a row with France so it is possible I will need another game in the reserves.

"It could work for other players too but you would have to ask the manager about that."

Marlet's opportunities to get a rest from first-team games are likely to be limited in the next few weeks as striker Louis Saha is out with a hamstring injury. The former Lyon star is set to play against Split and said: "It is an important game because it is the first in the UEFA Cup for the club.

"Everybody connected to Fulham is looking forward to it."