Fulham boss Parker gains confidence from form ahead of Cardiff City play-off clash

BY DANIEL MARSH

Scott Parker found grounds for optimism as his Fulham side were left facing a Championship play-off against Cardiff City.

The west London side finished fourth in the final standings and will head to Wales on Monday before the second leg at Craven Cottage three days later.

Whites boss Parker was quick to point out the form of his side as they extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.

“I think we all understood that the likelihood was that we’d be going through the play-offs [after the campaign restarted],” he said.

“We took it to the wire. We knew that our fate was well out of our hands [at Wigan]. We lost two games coming out of lockdown but since then we’ve been in very, very good form.

“The team has done remarkably well. When you are close there is that element of can we do it? But at the same time, we knew the task ahead and we were relying on a lot of teams to slip up.

“Now we move on. You’d expect me to say what I’m saying in terms of we need to go and be positive but it is because that’s where we are. We go into the play-offs now in form, with momentum with us.

“We’ll be focused now and push for what will be a tough game with Cardiff and we’ll go from there.”

Both Fulham and Wigan needed a win with the draw seeing the latter relegated due to their 12-point deduction for going into administration, although it is subject to an appeal.

A captivating game ended all square, with a stunning Neeskens Kebano free-kick cancelling out Kieffer Moore’s headed opener.

Fulham had Marek Rodak to thank for a share of the spoils as he produced a wonderful display, with several super saves to thwart Wigan in the dying moments.

The Whites will be boosted by the return on midfielder Harrison Reed, who has completed his one-game ban for his late dismissal in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Craven Cottage.

Cardiff boss Neil Harris said: “There is huge pressure on Fulham. A team that should be in the Premier League, given the money they have spent and are now spending.”

PICTURES BY SEAN GOSLING


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