The Rufus Brevett Column

Wednesday 12 December 2012 16:48

Having Brede Hangeland back on Monday night was a massive boost. Fulham have really felt his absence in the three games he missed through suspension. He’s a huge presence in the defence and we really benefit from having such an assured player in the backline. He has a great partnership with Aaron Hughes and it was good to see the two of them alongside each other again.

The best defender I ever played with was Chris Coleman. I think he only had one bad game in all the time I played with him. He was just so consistent. The late Alan McDonald at Queens Park Rangers was also a very good player.

I thought Fulham played really well against Newcastle United on Monday. The Magpies named two strikers in their starting XI in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, but they played Cisse on the wing until later in the game. Hatem Ben Arfa is a difficult player to handle, though, and he scored a cracking goal to level the game, but we reacted really well to Newcastle getting the equaliser and within 10 minutes we were back in front. It was a great header by Hugo Rodallega and that will be a boost for him.

Martin Jol has rotated his strikers a fair bit this season, with one of Bryan Ruiz, Mladen Petric or Hugo playing with Dimitar Berbatov. I think that’s a good thing as it keeps the players on their toes. When Rodallega has played, though, he’s done really well and to get his first Craven Cottage goal will be good for his confidence.

Ruiz is out for another four or five weeks which is a blow as he’d struck up a good understanding with Dimitar Berbatov. But we’ve got good attacking options in his absence and, while he will be missed, we’ve got players who can come in and do a job.

Steve Sidwell opened the scoring against Newcastle and he’s a player I really like. He’s a hard worker and a real team player. He likes a tackle and he also pops up with an important goal every now and then.

He didn’t get on the scoresheet but Berbatov showed his class again. I wasn’t sure about the black tights, it’s not something I ever wore in a game, but if anyone can get away with it, then it’s Dimitar!

Saturday’s game against QPR will be a difficult one for me as both they and Fulham are two clubs close to my heart. Rangers have drawn their three games under Harry Redknapp but draws are no good to them now – they need to start winning games – and they’ve got a massive task on their hands to stay up this season. QPR need the points more than Fulham and they’ve got a record they don’t really want, having not won a game all season. I just hope it’s a good game on Saturday with lots of goals!