Despite defeat at Swansea, there was some good news for Fulham fans with the sight of Simon Davies’ long-awaited return from injury.
The Welsh favourite was recalled in the centre of midfield in place of the injured Danny Murphy and, having not played since our opening UEFA Europa League matches at the end of June, he was naturally delighted to be back in the thick of the action.
“I’d just played my first reserve game last week after six months out, but that went well and the Manager asked if I fancied playing in the middle today, so it was great to be back,” said Davies.
“We knew it would be a tough game because Swansea keep the ball well and we had a lot of defending to do at times. But it was just disappointing because, after they scored, I thought we really put the pressure on them – especially with the penalty.
“I think a draw at the end of it would have been a fair result, because we had some really good chances. But all credit to Swansea because they played football really well.
“It says a lot that their ‘keeper was man of the match. He saved two really good chances and obviously there was the penalty save as well. But, at this level, as we know from the last few years – you have to take your chances.”
The Welshman had no adverse reactions after playing more than 80 minutes on his return, which has come at the perfect time for Martin Jol in terms of options ahead of the busy festive fixture schedule.
“It’s obviously been frustrating to not have been involved at all this season. I probably had the all clear from the surgeon about three weeks ago now,” he detailed. “I’m still a long way short of where I need to be to compete for a place in this team, but it’s good to be back a bit earlier, albeit because of injuries to others.”
And despite the disappointment of defeat, Davies is confident that he and his team-mates will respond well with a sequence of home matches beginning midweek.
“We’ve got a big week,” he assessed. “It was a big game today, we’ve got a big one on Wednesday in Europe and Bolton at home on Saturday, so two big matches to take us into Christmas week which hopefully we’ll be going into on the back of two good wins.”