Diarra: "Be Our 12th Man"

Friday 30 November 2012 15:03

Mahamadou Diarra was full of praise for the travelling Fulham faithful who made the trip to Stamford Bridge in midweek.

The Mali international admitted the noise of the fans means a lot to the Team and he hopes the same level of support continues all season, starting with Saturday’s game with Tottenham Hotspur (3pm).

“Of course we could hear them on Wednesday!” Mahamadou told the official website. “They were really good. Not only then, though, it is every game I play I can always hear that people are behind us, pushing us to do well which is always a great moment.

“Our fans are the best and I think they will be like that for the whole season; especially on Saturday because it’s a derby game and we need to win, we need the three points. If we look at the statistics, in our last six games we’ve had four draws so it’s the time to think about three points.

“One of the best things about the match this weekend is that we are playing at home so that’s going to be very good for us as we will have the supporters behind us and they can be our 12th player, as they help us all the time. I think it’s going to be a great game.”

Diarra’s appearance against Chelsea was only his seventh of the season after suffering from knee injuries. The midfielder put in a dominant display alongside Steve Sidwell in the centre of the park - before being withdrawn on 64 minutes - and he was pleased to help his side earn a deserved point.

“I had four or five strong training sessions before the game,” he explained. “Because we knew it would be very tough so we had to make sure that I was really ready for it.

“I’m happy for the Team, not only for me, because if you watched the match you could see that we were really strong. We were really compact and we worked like a real team. That was a good example of a team performance.

“Some people said that Chelsea didn’t play well but I think that’s because we had the better tactics and we had a good attitude.”

Fulham welcome Spurs to Craven Cottage on Saturday in our first home London derby of the season. It’s a game that Mahamadou knows will require the same high levels of performance that they showed in midweek.

“If I make a comparison between Chelsea and Tottenham then I don’t think there is much difference,” he said. “Spurs have almost the same style of football; they are strong going forward, have a good midfield players and they are so quick in their attacks so we have to be very careful.

“We’ll have to do what we did against Chelsea with the ball, to try to play how we always do and make sure we are not always defending.”

After joining the Club in February, Diarra is getting ready for the festive period and what he knows will be a gruelling month for his side as we prepare for six matches throughout December.

“It’s my first winter playing in English football and I am looking forward to it,” he said. “I know what it’s about. I have to be ready for it and, like everyone else, I have to keep myself fit.

“Nothing is easy here and I would like to keep my form and fitness so that I can play in all six games. I want to do what I can to help this Team. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be my first time playing five or six games in one month so we will see, but I’m ready for it.”

There are a limited number of tickets remaining for Saturday's match for supporters with a booking history.