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Premier League

Scott Parker won’t let Fulham make same mistakes as West Ham in relegation run-in

Scott Parker won’t let his Fulham stars sleepwalk their way to relegation like the West Ham side he was part of.

The Fulham boss famously won the Footballer of the Year award in 2010-11 despite the Hammers going down.

And while it obviously felt raw at the time, there were crucial lessons learned and all of them are bring passed on to his men now as they prepare for eight vital games in their run-in, starting with Aston Villa today.

Parker said: “We were sleepwalking into the last five or six games at West Ham and feeling a bit downbeat.

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Scott Parker
Scott Parker

“But that is not this team, one million per cent this is not the feeling I get with this team.

“This team are bang in it and I get that, I feel that constantly, daily.

“I feel in games it’s a team that understands exactly what it has to do.

“One that feels it’s in their hands on a game day, that they are excited to play, that they look forward to playing and challenging themselves.

“That’s the most important thing really.

“That West Ham team I was involved in, it felt like we were walking into at times, there was an unconfident and unhealthy feeling at times, because that’s what defeats do.

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There have been highs for Fulham since Christmas but boss Scott Parker knows his side still have a huge battle on their hands to survive in the Premier League

“All the pressure that mounts with relegation battles, looking at league tables and every game that goes by and you’ve not got three points, or what you might get, and all of a sudden that’s an extra weight.”

The onus is on Parker to keep his players focused and to ensure they get the balance right between tactics and fight.

He added: “Work, effort, fight, that gets you so far, of course it does, and it’s a massive part of the ingredients you need.

“But the other side as well, you can’t just walk away from your beliefs or how your team has got results.

So there is a real balance needed and my job is to make sure the team is in that mindset and that place of understanding what’s at stake and what’s needed to get us out of this position.”

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