Scott Parker insists the Fulham squad are fully aware of what’s required from them ahead of three of the biggest games in the Club’s history.
Positive results against Hull City, Stoke City and Crystal Palace are a necessity if the Whites are to avoid relegation, and Parker has pledged that he and his teammates will be doing all they can to preserve the top-flight status the Club has enjoyed for 13 years.
“We all understand the responsibility we have as players,” he told fulhamfc.com. “Ultimately, we’re going out there for a lot of people and it’s in our hands to try and win games to keep us in the league, so we all understand that responsibility that’s needed from us.
“I’d probably be lying if I said the mood around the place was fantastic because obviously when you’re down near the bottom of the league it’s very tense, very nervy. I’m hoping we can all just stick together and give it one final push, and hopefully have a bit of luck, and see what happens.”
Six points gained from our last three matches have injected a real aura of belief around the Club, and Parker was adamant that the Fulham faithful more than played their part in the recent resurgence, and called for more of the same for the remainder of the campaign.
“The fans have been fantastic and we need that added push from them,” he said. “The fans have been absolutely superb considering we, as players, haven’t given them a lot to shout about this year.
“All of us realise things haven’t been great and we could have done a lot better at times. The fans have been fantastic and we need their support more than ever, and I’m sure they’ll keep at it. They’ve been right behind us and all I can say is a big thank you for that, and hopefully that’s what’s going to pull us through.”
Parker’s return to First Team contention is a timely boost for Felix Magath, with the midfielder’s cameo appearance against Norwich City followed up with a start at his old stamping ground at the weekend.
He’d missed the previous five outings through injury and there were concerns when he was withdrawn early in the second half against Tottenham Hotspur, but Parker allayed fears regarding his fitness ahead of Saturday’s clash with Hull.
He explained: “It was a bit unfortunate as I got a dead leg early in the game and sometimes you can play through that but this one was quite bad.
“Once half-time came the leg really starting filling up with blood so it was very difficult for me to move, so that’s why I ended up coming off, but it’s getting there. I’ll be okay for the weekend, touch wood.
“I’d been out for some time with my knee which I’d done in training. I’ve come through the other side of that now so if the Manager picks me and I’m in the team I need to just hit the ground running and give everything I can, along with everyone else.
“We all know the situation we’re in and what’s needed and we need to all give it one final push and try and get maximum points out of our last three games.”
Some pundits have suggested Fulham’s run-in is favourable when compared to that of our relegation rivals, but Parker is expecting a real test of his side’s credentials when the Tigers visit Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The Humberside outfit have enjoyed a prosperous campaign but are still not safe, and a Fulham win would move us to within three points of our 14th-placed opponents.
“They’re looking over their shoulder a little but I think they’ll be safe,” Parker stated. “Obviously they’ve got an FA Cup Final to look forward to so I think they’ve had a very good season.
“I’m sure they won’t be taking their eye off any game, especially with a manager like Steve Bruce, so it will be a difficult game for us.
“They’re obviously a threat with a couple of good forwards who they’ve signed. They’ve also got Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore who I’m familiar with from our time at Tottenham – they’re two very, very good footballers – and at the back as well they’re quite solid so it’s going to be a very tough game.
“I think, like all games at this part of the season where we are, they’re all difficult. We need to try and do what we can do, and try and influence the game as much as we can, and try and win it. At this part of the season it’s not necessarily about playing well, it’s not about how many goals, or this and that, it’s just about winning the game.”