The Rufus Brevett Column

Tuesday 26 March 2013 15:00

It’s the big one on Easter Monday when Fulham host Queens Park Rangers in the West London derby.

It’s a tough one for me – I had good times with both clubs so I’ll be sitting on the fence a little bit for this game; I’ll be supporting Fulham in the first half and QPR in the second!

I’m expecting a good game. Fulham are bang in form and QPR are fighting for their lives. It’s live on Sky and under the Cottage floodlights so should be a cracking atmosphere too.

Fulham have got something to prove. I was at the 2-1 defeat at Loftus Road in December and that was probably the worst I’ve seen Fulham play for a long, long time. They were very disappointing and so they should feel the need to put that right on Monday.

QPR are currently seven points adrift of safety and it could be even more by the time they play on Monday. Harry Redknapp has targeted five wins out of the last eight games and it’s a massive ask for them. The 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa was huge and a real sickener for them. If they’d won that game, or even got a point, you’d think they might have a chance. I hope I’m wrong but I think they’ve just got too much to do. You never know, it can be done, but they’ll need results to go their way as well as picking up wins themselves.

It was a great result for Fulham last time out against Tottenham Hotspur. There was a bit of added spice with Martin Jol and Dimitar Berbatov going back there. I’m sure Martin got the lads up for it. Our away form hasn’t been great so to come away with a result against Spurs, who are chasing third place in the league, was tremendous. I don’t think many people saw it coming.

We kept Gareth Bale quiet as well which is no easy feat. He’s playing at the top of his game right now but he didn’t really get a sniff. They’ve got some firepower have Tottenham, so to win it and keep a clean sheet was a massive boost to our confidence.

Mark Schwarzer pulled off a great save from Jermain Defoe towards the end to keep us in front and that’s three clean sheets in four now. Mark’s had a great season but all the defence do their bit. The back four came in for some criticism earlier this season but they’ve obviously worked hard on the Training Ground and tweaked a few things and now they’re seeing the benefits.

After the QPR game, we’ve got the long trip up to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United. It’s always a difficult place to go to but there’s no reason why Fulham can’t go there and get a result if they play like they have been recently. And if you look at the last remaining games for Fulham, it’s not a bad set of fixtures. If they can put a decent run together, then they could even sneak eighth or ninth; no mean feat when you go back to earlier in the season when we couldn’t get a win for love nor money and you thought we might get drawn into the scrap down the bottom. Thankfully, we’re definitely looking up as the season enters the final furlong.