High Flyer

Monday 22 January 2007

Despite having yet to start a game for Fulham, Vincenzo Montella has already earned the appreciation of the Fulham faithful thanks to his goal scoring exploits.

The Italian marksman recorded his third goal in two games during Saturday’s draw against Tottenham with a coolly taken spot kick following Michael Dawson’s handball. Indeed, Montella showed plenty of composure to send Paul Robinson the wrong way following a nerve-wracking delay.

“It’s always a great feeling to score a goal,” said the striker as he looked back on Saturday's draw. “We were a man down which made it even more pleasing to go a goal ahead. It was a shame we couldn’t hold on and claim all three points.”

Montella’s goals have certainly contributed to his popularity but as the striker went on to explain, the support shown by the Fulham fans even before he found the back of the net made a big impression.

“It’s magnificent because they were singing my name against Leicester before I'd scored my goals,” he said. “The fans appear to have prepared their songs as soon as I arrived in London. Fortunately they haven’t had to wait too long to see the aeroplane celebration!

“I’ve been here a short space of time so I’m not yet familiar with the level of the teams but it’s obvious the Club has healthy ambitions to do well.”

Swapping the surroundings of Rome for London might come as something of a culture shock to some but Montella, for one, is already enjoying life in the capital – apart from the recent windy conditions.

“Both London and Rome are massive cities but very different,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have had had the opportunity to live in two fantastic cities.

“In Rome it is difficult to go out or walk the streets without being recognised. In England the difficulty is not bumping into people but the weather. Saturday was fine but it’s been very windy recently!”

Whilst the differences between Rome and London have been noted by the striker, Montella admitted his first impressions of Craven Cottage were far more favourable. “It’s similar to when I was at Empoli where I spent most of my youth. It’s like I’ve come back to my roots.”