1996/97 In Quotes

Wednesday 15 November 2017 17:00

Ahead of the return of Micky Adams and his 1996/97 team to the Cottage on Saturday, relive how the season unfolded through a selection of quotes made at the time from the people closest to the action. Fulham photos courtesy of Ken Coton.

“We’re calling him God now – everything he touches turns to gold.”

Simon Morgan on Micky Conroy after the striker scored his fourth goal of the season in a 1-0 win over Carlisle United on 31st August 1996

“I asked them, ‘How badly do you want to be top tonight?’ because it’s easy to get up there and let it slip. These boys can achieve whatever they want if they stick at what they’re doing.”

Micky Adams as Fulham beat Colchester United 3-1 to remain a point off leaders Wigan Athletic

“The confidence is absolutely fantastic. I’m pleased for the boys, pleased for some of the senior players such as Simon Morgan, who in six years at the club has achieved nothing.”

Micky Adams after a 1-0 win at Exeter City sent Fulham top of Division Three

“To all the doubters out there – there’s my answer to you. My team are top of the league – I’m proud of them.”

Micky Adams after his side bounced back from a home defeat to win 2-0 in Darlington

“If we’re not big enough and brave enough, and we’re not prepared to stand up and be counted, then we’ll get our backsides smacked.”

Micky Adams wasn’t happy after a 2-1 home defeat by Lincoln City cut Fulham’s lead at the top to four points

“Fulham are really fortunate to have Micky Adams. He’s an excellent young manager and he’s put together an excellent all round team.”

ITV’s Gabriel Clarke was impressed after watching Fulham beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Craven Cottage

“I was a bit disappointed with that – it was probably my best save.”

Leyton Orient goalkeeper Peter Shilton after a goal-kick was given despite him showing fine reflexes to keep out a Micky Conroy effort in a 1-1 draw at the Cottage

“My little belated Christmas present to Fulham fans.”

Micky Adams describes the arrival of former favourite Paul Parker on a short-term contract

“We went out like we were ‘big time Charlies’ who’d scored six goals on Saturday and all we needed to do today was turn up and play. I’ll tell you what, if we perform like we did tonight, forget all talk of promotion.”

Micky Adams was fuming when Fulham followed up a 6-0 win over Darlington with a 2-1 loss at Colchester United

“If this is a test of my managerial qualities, having lost two on the trot, then bring it on because I won’t run away and hide. The tougher it gets, I love that and I’m sure my boys will come out fighting next week. The people that had a little pop at me and said I was negative, I’m sure that I’ll give them my answer before the end of the season.”

Another defeat followed at Torquay United, but Micky Adams remained defiant

“It was an absolutely fabulous day, it couldn’t have gone better. The fans made it into a cup final, they were unbelievable.”

Simon Morgan praises the impact made by the away supporters as Fulham won 4-1 at Scunthorpe United

“The occasion got to our lads and it inspired Cardiff. We’ve disappointed people again, but nobody’s more disappointed than myself and the real Fulham.”

Micky Adams rued his side’s performance from a Friday night encounter with Cardiff City in front of the Sky Sports cameras

“I’m not like that boxer that sat down and cried last night – I’m going to come back fighting. It’s a time for everybody to rally round, and whatever the fans and my players are feeling, we’re all in it together. And if we get anything out of this season it’s because we’ve all stuck together.”

Micky Adams references Oliver McCall’s famous Las Vegas showdown with Lennox Lewis following his side’s 2-0 defeat at Lincoln City

“People have criticised my team recently, saying there’s no passion and a lack of determination. Well we’ve shown everyone that we’re not out of this race yet.”

A 2-1 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Swansea City gave Micky Adams plenty to celebrate on 11th February 1997

“Wigan caught me by surprise. They changed their system today and it messed us up a little bit. Little Martinez was sat in midfield and we couldn’t really get anywhere near him.”

Micky Adams was full of praise for Roberto Martinez who impressed for Wigan Athletic in their 1-1 draw at the Cottage

“Do it your way and that’s not good enough, do it my way and we’ll get results.”

Micky Adams’ half-time message to his players when they were 1-0 down at home to Chester City. Simon Morgan scored a second half equaliser to earn a point

“I was on a high and I just wanted the ball all the time. I loved every minute of it.”

Darren Freeman speaking after a scintillating display that saw him score one and create two in a 4-0 triumph over Scarborough

“I think we’re all put on this earth for a reason. Maybe I’m on this earth to get Fulham promoted. There’s a steely determination going through the camp at the moment that nothing’s going to stop us. We’re on a roll, that’s six games unbeaten. We’re enjoying it, I hope the fans are enjoying it.”

A 2-0 London derby victory at Leyton Orient put Fulham in a strong position in the table, much to our Manager’s delight

“They think they’ve done it now, and they haven’t. They get a bit relaxed, the sun comes out, there’s a big crowd again and it’s frustrating. A lot of players played below par, a lot of players didn’t show any bottle.”

Alan Cork accuses some of the players of thinking promotion is in the bag following a 1-1 home draw with Rochdale

“The lads were nearly fighting each other at breakfast, they were that desperate to get out on the pitch.”

Simon Morgan describes the atmosphere prior to Fulham’s famous 2-1 win over rivals Carlisle United

“Rodney McAree was going to be on the bench but I said to Alan on the Friday that I had a gut feeling about him. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t. It was a toss-up between him and [Martin] Thomas. I went with McAree and I’m glad I did now.”

Micky Adams reveals the thought process behind handing match-winner Rodney McAree a rare start at Brunton Park

“Superb. It’s worth carrying on when you have nights like this. All the lads have deserved it, the Gaffer, Corky, everybody concerned at the Club. Micky’s come into the job, he’s set his stall out, done his homework and we’ve worked hard from day one and tonight’s made it all worth it.”

37-year-old midfielder Glenn Cockerill highlights the excellent effort made by all involved as Fulham clinch promotion with a goalless draw at Mansfield Town

“I’m a bit emotional. We’ve got promotion. Give the boys credit because they’ve worked ever so hard this season. I’m proud of every one of them – it’s a squad game. And I’m proud of the fans.”

A humble Micky Adams following the crucial Tuesday night draw in Nottinghamshire

“It’s a moment’s joy to be savoured. Let London know that Fulham is there by the river and is a big beating heart.”

Chairman Jimmy Hill couldn’t contain his delight following Fulham’s first promotion in 15 years

“They’re coming in tomorrow because I’m not going to have anybody with less commitment than me at this football club. They showed me they have been partying too hard.”

Micky Adams cancelled a day off after Fulham lost their next game 1-0 at home to Northampton Town

“I had three kicks of the ball, two went in and the keeper saved the other one, so it wasn’t bad.”

A modest Simon Morgan after his brace secured a 2-0 win over Hull City in the final Craven Cottage match of the season

“Think doubt and fail; think victory and succeed. This motto summed up for me what we were about this season. The boys didn’t doubt and they certainly didn’t fail. Although we were disappointed we didn’t win the championship, 87 points was a magnificent achievement by the squad, and I was proud to be the manager of a terrific bunch of hard-working professionals.”

Micky Adams’ assessment at the end of a wonderful campaign.

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