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SWEET RETURN

Fulham won’t overhaul squad for Premier League, says Parker

The London club were relegated from England’s top flight at the end of the 2018/19 campaign despite spending 100 million pounds on players.

In Summary

• They secured an immediate return with a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Championship playoff final on Tuesday and Parker said that while the squad did need strengthening too many additions could do more harm than good.

• The 46-year-old Frank refused to blame his keeper for the opening goal, despite Raya seemingly being out of position and reacting slowly to Bryan’s set-piece from distance.

Fulham manager Scott Parker, Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid celebrate after gaining promotion back to Premier League
Fulham manager Scott Parker, Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid celebrate after gaining promotion back to Premier League
Image: /REUTERS

 

Fulham will bring in players for their campaign in the Premier League next season but there will be no wholesale changes to the squad that sealed promotion on Tuesday, manager Scott Parker said.

The London club were relegated from England’s top flight at the end of the 2018/19 campaign despite spending 100 million pounds on players.

They secured an immediate return with a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Championship playoff final on Tuesday and Parker said that while the squad did need strengthening too many additions could do more harm than good.

“You can’t build teams with drastic changes, drastic swings of players coming in,” Parker told British media. “This team has been around myself now for the best part of 15 months and they have improved and improved and improved. I’m happy with where we are. We are going to need additions – we are going into the biggest league there is — but no drastic changes.

“Some clear errors were made last time and we will learn from that. We are going into the best league in the world ... and I realise the challenge ahead.

“I want to try and enjoy what we have done so far but we need to learn from those mistakes.”

Meanwhile, Brentford manager Thomas Frank was left ruing the fine margins in football as his team fell at the final hurdle.

The Dane’s side were undone by a brilliant opportunist free kick from Joe Bryan that beat goalkeeper David Raya at the end of the first period of extra time before the full-back added a second in the 117th minute as Fulham gained immediate promotion.

“Of course, it’s tough to take. I think we’ve had a top season in many ways. I’m extremely proud of this club, I’m extremely proud of the players, the staff,” Frank told Sky Sports. “We managed to score the most goals (80) and have the second-fewest conceded goals (38)... but in football, it’s the fine margins, and the fine margins were maybe not with us in some ways this season,” he added.

“Definitely not in the final - you need that in the final, in a tight, tight final, the two teams cancelled each other out, you needed that bit of brilliance from Bryan, that was the difference between two good teams.”

The 46-year-old Frank refused to blame his keeper for the opening goal, despite Raya seemingly being out of position and reacting slowly to Bryan’s set-piece from distance.

“I will never blame David for anything. I think he’s been a fantastic keeper for us throughout the season, and I think he is one of the reasons why we had the second-best defence this season,” he said, adding that he was not worried about losing any of his players to bigger clubs. I just know one thing - that when we start next season, we will have a very strong side out there again, and we’re ready to push.”