En Garde

Tuesday 7 November 2006

As Chris Coleman's squad began their preparations for this weekend's clash with Portsmouth, Fulham defender Franck Queudrue spoke of his satisfaction following Saturday's victory over Everton.

After a disappointing defeat at the hands of Wigan, Fulham returned to Craven Cottage to extend a 40 year unbeaten home run against Everton and Queudrue was delighted with the marked improvement Fulham showed throughout the game.

"There was a big difference defensively between the Wigan game and the first half against Everton and following that we improved even more in the second half. We stuck together, working as a team and it was a big improvement with a bit of magic from Claus.

"Saturday was only the second game Everton have lost this season and they had a good result the week before, away from home at Arsenal, so it was a good result for us."

After a static first half Fulham's players began to find their natural passing game in the second period following a half time pep talk and Queudrue noted the benefit of having a fit Claus Jensen in the side.

"In the dressing room at half-time we knew we needed to create the extra pass in the second half and move the ball around more and step up the level of our game. We came into the second half with the right intentions.

"Claus is one of our quality players and we know when we give him the ball he can make things happen and change a game.”

Chris Coleman's side travel to the South Coast on Saturday and a victory at Fratton Park will bring Fulham level on points with fourth placed Portsmouth, but Queudrue is well aware of the quality they face this weekend.

"Portsmouth is always a tricky place to go with crowd behind them all the time but we need to forget about that and play our game and defend with strength.

"They have quality attacking players like Benjani and Kanu and people in midfield who can deliver like Mendes and Davis - they've got some quality players so it's going to be a tricky game."

On a personal level Queudrue has settled into life at Fulham following his summer move from Middlesbrough and is evidently enjoying the spirit amongst Chris Coleman's squad.

"It was difficult at the start - when you don’t have a place to live and you’re staying in a hotel looking for houses, you never stop! Now I’ve found a house I can get good rest so that’s okay now.

"It’s a smashing atmosphere at Fulham and there’s a great bunch of lads here. Even the players who are injured like Jimmy, it was tough at the start for him but we see him everyday and as a squad we all get on really well together."