I was speaking to a lot of Fulham fans before the Preston game and they were convinced that if we won that then we would go unbeaten for the rest of the season. That’s a big statement that would take some doing, but with the form we’re showing then who knows. To go to a side on Saturday who are tough to beat at home and show that never say die attitude to get the winning goal at the death, there’s nothing sweeter as a player and as a team on the bus home.
The only bad thing at the moment is that Cardiff and Villa keep winning. Those two are playing Brentford and QPR tonight so we might feel a bit dirty saying it, but we want our local rivals to do us a favour there. All we can focus on is winning our games, and if we keep doing that then we’re giving ourselves a hell of a chance of being in the top-two at the end of the season.
A lot was made of the six-match sequence we’ve just gone through, with a lot describing it as “season defining.” I’m not sure how many would have predicted we’d win five and draw one. I believed we were capable, and like we’ve said many times in the column over the season, this league is all about momentum. I think the only side who’s won more points than us in 2018 is Manchester City, so we are in the in-form team across the board. The signings that have come in have all hit the ground running, especially Aleksandar Mitrović who can’t stop scoring. You can see that he’s a winner, and that’s only going to serve Fulham well.
We may be some way ahead of Queens Park Rangers going into Saturday’s early kick-off, but it’s a derby and form goes out the window a little bit in those fixtures. The players will believe they can win the game, they’re high on confidence and believe they can beat anybody. But we can’t take our foot off the gas and assume Saturday will be an easy game because of where QPR are in the league. Stick to what you’re doing, work hard, don’t let the occasion get to you – do that and I fully expect us to win the game.
I saw that we’ve sold out our allocation of 2,000 tickets for Norwich away at the end of the month. Considering that is still two-and-a-half weeks away, that’s phenomenal support. This is probably the most excited I’ve seen the fans since the Europa League run in 2010. You can sense the exhilaration and atmosphere around the place, and that’s credit to Slaviša and the players for bringing that feeling back to the Club. It shows how much optimism can be generated by a winning run. There’s a buzz around Motspur Park and Craven Cottage, and long may that continue.
It’s good to see Tom Cairney and Kevin McDonald called up for the Scotland squad – I couldn’t believe that Kev has never won a cap. That’s a long overdue call-up. He’s one of those players that keeps the team together. His position in the starting XI is vital, he’s a leader on the pitch, he covers a lot of ground, tactically he’s very, very good, and he moves the ball very well. He gives that protection to the back four as well, so I’m not surprised one bit that Alex McLeish wants him in his squad.
It was Gentleman Jim’s birthday last week, and he’s another one who I bet is loving life at the moment. I do miss being up there on the gantry with him, I can’t imagine the scenes of him celebrating in some of the games lately. I was a bit worried he was going to fall off on some occasions because he was celebrating too hard! He’ll be buzzing, and I’d like to wish him a happy 80th birthday! Derby games get Jim extra excited so he’ll be really looking forward to Saturday.