Fulham will always have a place in Lewis Holtby’s heart.
The midfielder may have only played 13 games in a Fulham shirt during his loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur but he felt the Club’s relegation as much as anyone.
“It’s tough to realise,” he told the official website. “For the fans, the staff, and the players, it’s not easy to take.
“When I came here I believed the squad was too good to go down. That afternoon at Stoke City when relegation was confirmed was horrible. There was no energy, nothing there.
“But it wasn’t just Stoke, over the course of the season, we just weren’t good enough. A lot of points were dropped in the last minutes and that contributed to our downfall.”
After joining the Whites in the January transfer window, Holtby’s all-action displays quickly endeared him to the Fulham faithful.
He said: “I’ve only been here four months or so but this is a really down-to-earth club, it’s a family club and the fans took to me so well from the first game. It was fantastic to play for this Club and they will always stay in my memories. Even though we went down I had a fantastic time here. I cried with the Club when we went down and Fulham will always be a part of me.
“The fans took to me and I took to them. I’m a person who plays with passion and desire. When you play for a club, even on loan, you have to give 100 per cent dedication, you can’t just go and take the money.
“You have to play football with heart and the Fulham fans deserve that for the money they pay in following the Club home and away. If you can give a bit of joy back, it’s a win-win situation.”
Despite Fulham’s drop to the Championship, Holtby, who scored once during his time at the Cottage, believes the Club have the means to bounce back.“This Club has a brilliant Academy,” he said. “A fresh start can see a lot of young blood come in and that can only bode well for the future.”