Maybe next time

Wednesday 25 September 2002

It may not come as a surprise to hear that Barry Hayles' recent return to the starting line up has coincided with Fulham's current impressive run of form.

Replacing an injured Louis Saha in the early stages of the match against Spurs, Hayles' determination not only won Fulham a penalty on the night, but he also proved himself to be more than a simple annoyance to the Spurs back line.

To cap off a fine start to the season, Hayles has also received a call-up to the Jamaican national team as the Reggae Boyz take on Japan in a friendly on 16th October in Tokyo.

Despite his recent success, Hayles could not hide his disappointment at not hitting the net after an entertaining, but goalless West London derby, despite having two of his side's best chances.

Looking back on the opportunity to score that vital first goal Hayles said, "The ball took an age to come down but I think I hit it a bit too early and it flew just over the bar."

Rather frustratingly, Hayles' other chance passed him by; as the frontman was unable to dig the ball out from under his feet, with the goal only a matter of yards away.

Hayles continued, "I thought our general play in the first half was very good but it was a very tight match so it was hard to get any clear opportunities. All credit to Chelsea they worked hard and made it difficult for us."

Looking ahead to this weekend's match against Everton, Hayles said:

"We want to get back to winning ways now, it will be tough away from home but if we can play with the same spirit as we did against Chelsea we should do well. We didn't get a good result against Everton last season so it will be nice to go there and put on a good display."