Brede Hangeland joined an elite group of Fulham players last Saturday as he made his 250th appearance for the Club in our 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Cottage.
Since signing in January 2008, Hangeland has been an integral part of the Whites backline and a cornerstone of the success that the Club has enjoyed in recent years. Rarely injured or suspended, he remains one of the first names on the teamsheet and was rewarded for his loyalty and consistency last summer when Manager Martin Jol handed him the Captain’s armband.
As unassuming as ever, Hangeland wasn't aware he’d reached such a milestone until he was informed so by fulhamfc.com this week.
“Was it really?” he asked when told West Brom was his 250th appearance. “I didn’t know that but it’s not a bad tally in just over five years. I’ve enjoyed every moment of those 250 games but I’m not someone who cares much for records or achievements. I’m just someone who’s keen to do as well as they can in the next game and in the future.
"It’s still a great milestone to reach, though, and I’m proud to have played 250 games for the Club in five and a bit years.”
Meanwhile, Hangeland says the Whites are raring to go ahead of Saturday’s (5.30pm) SW6 derby at Chelsea.
Martin Jol’s men make the short trip to Stamford Bridge for this weekend’s televised clash, with Hangeland and company desperate to send the travelling supporters home happy.
“The game means a lot to the fans but it means a lot to the players as well,” Brede told the official website. “We know it’s a big local derby and we always look forward to it. They’re normally tight games but also fun games to take part in. So we’re all excited and looking forward to Saturday.”
Like Fulham, Chelsea have suffered something of a hit-and-miss start to the new season. Indeed, the Blues have lost their last two games – a 1-0 league defeat at Everton last weekend was followed by Wednesday’s shock 2-1 reverse to Basel in the UEFA Champions League.
But Hangeland is still more than aware of the threat that Jose Mourinho’s side will pose on Saturday.
He continued: “It’s definitely not an easy place to go to. They have a fantastic team with world-class players. As I said, they tend to be tight games and we’ve done quite well there over the last few seasons, picking up some draws. So anything is possible.
“We’ll just focus on ourselves, make sure we’re well prepared and ready to go. If we do that, it’s always possible to get a result.”
Fulham were denied three points last weekend by an injury-time equaliser at home to West Bromwich Albion.
The late strike left the Cottage deflated so what better way to raise spirits, says Hangeland, than a favourable result against the Club’s local rivals.
“It was very disappointing,” stated Hangeland. “I thought we played very well. It’s not often you have three disallowed goals and on another day it could have been a comfortable win. But it’s in the past now, we can’t do much about it so we need to look ahead and try and pick up some points on Saturday. That would be a nice way to react to last week.”