Not too much was known about Seko Fofana when he arrived on loan from Manchester City in late November. More than two months on and he’s become a key part of Kit Symons’ midfield.
A first-team environment was a new experience for him, but since making his debut as a late substitute at Brighton & Hove Albion, the midfielder has featured in every single game for Fulham. With his close control, eye for a pass and ability to break up attacks as well as make some lung-busting runs, Symons clearly sees the 19-year-old as a vital cog in his midfield machine.
“As time has passed, the more progress I’ve made,” Fofana tells the official matchday programme for the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay with Sunderland. “I feel I’ve matured and as it has been a great experience so far and I’m really happy to be part of this Club.
“It’s proof of the confidence I’ve gained first and foremost that I’ve managed to play many matches. I have to carry on working hard to be able to play as many games as possible. I’m not one to look back and calculate how many matches I’ve played, I always look forward, continue to work hard and I know I mustn’t allow my work rate or standards to drop if I want to be playing for the First Team consistently.
“I set myself personal and collective objectives and I want to do well so the Club finish as high in the league as we can. We’re aiming for the Play-Offs and we want to go on a good run in the FA Cup.”
Fofana’s initial spell at the Cottage was due to expire in late January, but the deal was extended to take in the remainder of the season. He admits the opportunity to move to London on a temporary basis was one he had to ponder.
“I took my time to think about the move and spoke to my family and my representatives who all gave me some really good advice,” he said. “In the end I made my decision and it wasn’t too difficult as I knew a little bit about the Club’s philosophy and before coming here I was aware of the Club’s playing style and system so it was an easy decision.
“It was hard at the start, my performances were ‘flou’ (translated as ‘a bit of a blur’) because I had a desire to prove myself and because of this sometimes you can make some bad decisions in the game. I’ve managed to rectify some of my mistakes the more games I’ve played. There are, of course, still aspects that I need to improve but thanks to the video analysis meetings that the Manager gives, these are highlighted to me and with hard work on the training pitch I hope to eliminate some of these mistakes.
“When you have good players next to you on the pitch, you have to raise your level. When you play with good players alongside you like Scott Parker for example, who shows you a lot of faith and trust, you have to demonstrate that you can step up.”
To read the full interview with Fofana, get your hands on a copy of the matchday programme against Sunderland on Tuesday.
Other exclusive highlights in the only matchday magazine that matters - which is also available to download digitally from 12pm on Tuesday - are:
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