Black & White Ambition

Monday 17 November 2003

Sean Davis looked to be a happy man at Motspur Park this week. With a difficult and unsettling few months behind him, the young midfielder was clearly delighted to have his future finally settled and to be able to get on with doing what he does best - playing football.

"That's the main thing for me," he said, winding down after an intense training session earlier in the week. "Just to be playing again. I'm enjoying all the everyday stuff - the training and preparing for the games, and although the result wasn't right against Charlton, it was just good to be involved again.

"I'm not thinking about any of the other stuff, it's just football now and nothing else.

"I wasn't very impressed with the way I played though -I did give the ball away a couple of times. It's always nice to score, but when you're losing 3-0 it doesn't matter all that much - if it had been the winner I would have felt a lot better!

"My last competitive game was the one at Charlton at the end of last season, so it's been a long time since I played a full game. If I do manage to get back into the team it would probably take me four or five games to get properly match-fit, but I don't expect to walk back into the side because the boys have been doing fantastically well - it's going to be hard for me to break back in."

Davis was left puzzled by the Charlton match - the team's performance just didn't reach the standards the players had set themselves in earlier games. But he was determined to look for the positives and the debut of yet another future star was something that he seized on.

"Obviously it wasn't the best of games," he said. "It was just one of those days when nothing seemed to go right - the commitment and the effort was there, but for some reason we just weren't at the races. Sometimes that just happens, you can't go through a season playing one hundred per cent well all the time - you just have to get on with it and make it count in the next game.

"The boys really have been fantastic this season, from Edwin all the way up to Louis Saha, and it's good to see the young lads getting involved - I thought Darren Pratley did very well. It obviously wasn't the best of situations for him to come on, but I thought he looked comfortable and did himself justice.

"Darren is definitely one for the future. Cookie is someone who'll use young talent - if they're good enough, they're old enough, and we've got a lot of good young lads here."

When Davis handed in his transfer request back in the summer, it naturally triggered a negative reaction from the Fulham fans. And when news filtered through that his move to Everton had collapsed, many doubted his commitment as a Fulham player - a view which Davis is happy to acknowledge. "A lot of people questioned my commitment to the Club," Davis agreed. "But if I hadn't been injured and things still hadn't gone through at Everton, I would still have given one hundred per cent for Fulham both on the pitch and the training ground.

"There's a great spirit here, I've got a lot of good friends - I would never mug my team mates by not trying or not being part of the team, it's just not in me. Now I just want to get on with my football and enjoy it."

Apparently it didn't take much to change Davis' mind.

"I had a long talk with Cookie," he said. "And he made me realise that there is ambition here and that I have an important part to play in achieving that ambition.

"I've been at the Club for a long time now and in the summer I felt I needed a move to get on in the game, but I realise now that I can do all that I want at Fulham."

As manager Chris Coleman said, Davis committing himself to the Club is like having a new £5million player. And the man himself thinks that the future for Fulham is looking very bright.

"We've got a young squad, and one that's getting younger," Davis said. "That can only be good for Fulham and for British football in general, because we've got a lot of very good home-grown youngsters coming though.

"Hopefully we can crack on now and be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We've shown that we can do it against the best sides; we've just got to keep on doing it.

"It's important for us to get back to Craven Cottage as well. That will be a great lift for everyone; it's a big thing to play at your own ground and everyone's got such special memories of the place

"Cookie's done well in the transfer market so far - the players he's brought in have done exceptionally well. He's said that there's money available, so if he feels he wants to go out and get somebody in January he will, but he hasn't rushed into anything and I think he's been very shrewd so far."

And the final question - can Sean achieve all his personal ambitions at Fulham?