Fighting Hard

Thursday 21 November 2013 10:30

He hasn’t played as much as he would have liked since arriving in SW6 – but Adel Taarabt remains determined to aid Fulham’s cause.

The midfielder, on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers, started Fulham’s first two games of the campaign but has since had to be content with cameo roles in league fixtures.

And the Morocco international is desperate for that to change as he bids to help the Whites move out of the bottom three places in the Barclays Premier League.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating because I came here with a big ambition to do well,” he told the official website. “I started off okay but then I picked up an injury that made it very difficult for me to get back in the team.

“Now I’m fighting hard to get back in the starting XI and this international break has been very good for me – we had a friendly game against Crystal Palace where I played 85 minutes and for fitness that was very good. Now I hope to get picked to play against Swansea City on Saturday.

“I need to produce in training and show the Manager that I’m ready to go and fight for him. That’s what I try to do every day. I hope to be involved from the start on Saturday. If I don’t start, I hope to come on and make an impact for the team.”

The Whites have now suffered four successive defeats in all competitions but a win on Saturday against Swansea would take Fulham above the Welsh outfit and into mid-table.

“It’s been disappointing, especially as we’ve lost the last few games, so we came in for criticism,” said Taarabt. “But if you look at the table, if you win a couple of games you can suddenly be in the top eight. You have to win them, though, that is the thing.

“Every weekend in the Premier League you meet a tough team so we need to try and get points against every team. Okay, there are better sides than us but the fans want to see the team fight for every ball and every available point.”

Taarabt was involved in a relegation battle with QPR last term – one that ultimately proved unsuccessful. That’s not something he wants to experience again, but he believes his new side have the nous to move away from danger.

“It’s different,” he said. “Last season with QPR we didn’t win a game before December. Here, we’ve already won three games. The squad here are more experienced and calmer about the situation. We just have to keep believing.”

Fulham have been buoyed by the appointment of Head Coach Rene Meulensteen recently – and Taarabt has been impressed by the Dutchman’s training sessions during the 49-year-old’s short time at Motspur Park.

“I’d heard about him but I didn’t know him as a person or a coach,” stated Taarabt. “I’ve worked with him now for five or six days and he’s unbelievable. The sessions he puts on are amazing. He understands the Premier League and how important it is to keep possession of the ball. The players are so happy with the sessions. They’re hard work, though; everyone comes off the training pitch saying ‘I’m dead, I need to sleep!’

“Everything is intensity, intensity, intensity and working on in-game situations. It’s what we needed and I think he’ll bring a lot to Fulham.”

Swansea arrive in SW6 on Saturday with Taarabt hopeful the Whites can put a stop to City’s possession-based game.

He said: “We need to prevent that – we want to have control of the ball and dominate games. So we need to press them. It’s been too easy for other teams at times against us. We need to take responsibility now and control games, especially at home. If Swansea can do it, why can’t we do it? That’s what we’re working on with Rene – to try and control games, to not give the ball away cheaply and defend as a team.”

There are still tickets available for Saturday's clash with Swansea City, find out more here.