Q&A With Fulham

  • October 01, 2014 | By David Williams
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/59d6b

Ahead of the 84th meeting between Bolton and Fulham, we have got the views of a Cottagers supporter.

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Derby County on Saturday, while Fulham were 2-1 winners at Birmingham City on the same afternoon.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to Dan Crawford (@dancrawford85) - a 28-year-old Fulham supporter, who lists Simon Davies and Patrick Roberts among his favourite players to wear the famous white shirt.

Ahead of Wednesday's game, Dan shares his views on Fulham's disastrous start to the season, which team replaces Chelsea as their most anticipated game, as well as why the duo of Jermaine Beckford and Joe Mason could prove to be Wanderers' biggest weapon if they are to pick up their first away league win of the campaign.

Q: After a poor start to the season, Fulham currently sit inside the Championship's bottom three - did you ever believe their start would be so bad?

A: The short answer would be no, but then - in all honesty - it is quite clear that both the club and the previous manager seriously underestimated the Championship.

We put out faith in a lot of very talented youth players, some of whom have the potential to be outstanding players in time, but throwing them all in at once and asking them to pick up wins in a very competitive league was a little reckless.

We've struggled defensively, which is little surprise after conceding 85 goals as we were relegated from the Premier League, but we have also lacked bite and power in midfield.

There's been a real improvement in the short time that Kit Symons has had at the helm, but he has a massive task on his hands.

Q: As a recently relegated team, what do you find to be the best and worst things about Championship football?

A: Despite the poor start to the season, I've really enjoyed the Championship so far. It's a much more even league, with surprising results every week.

I think the monotony of the Premier League - after 13 wonderful years - was really beginning to hit home with a lot of our fans.

I've had some great away trips already this season and, for a club whose away following in the top flight was often derided, our away numbers have been pretty impressive.

As for the worst thing, it's quite clearly the refereeing. If I'm being kind, it's been inconsistent so far, but often times, inept.

Q: With the London derby against Chelsea being left behind, which team are you most looking forward to seeing at Craven Cottage?

A: If we're excluding local derbies, we'd have to leave out Brentford, who are quite excited about our return to the Championship. We've already beaten them once this season in the League Cup at Griffin Park, which was a terrific and a rather nostalgic night.

Otherwise, Leeds are looking forward to letting Ross McCormack know what they think of him but, for me, the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion and the return of David Stockdale, our former goalkeeper, will be quite special.

The real bonus of playing in this league is the number of excellent away trips it offers.

Q: There have been many changes in personnel at Fulham this summer - who do you think will end up as your Player of the Season?

A: It's a bit early to be nominating - and, up until a couple of weeks ago, I might have flippantly said the club might have to run a Fan of the Year competition in place of the poor players as they did last season.

But right-back Tom Hoogland, a summer signing from Germany, has turned into a bit of a goal machine. He's already scored three goals, including the winner at Birmingham City on Saturday, making him our top scorer.

Q: In a team that has massively changed since its Premier League days, who would worry Fulham fans on the Bolton team sheet?

A: The Bolton fans I know aren't particularly enamored with Dougie Freedman at the moment, but there are a number of players who catch the eye.

I always thought we let Darren Pratley leave too early, so it will be nice to see him back at the Cottage.

Goals might have been hard to come by of late for Bolton, but Joe Mason and Jermaine Beckford - who we were reportedly in for on transfer deadline day - will give out centre backs a real examination and I'll be intrigued to see how Max Clayton adapts to the Championship.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Wednesday's game?

A: It's rumoured to be the game that gives Kit Symons the job should be win. I'm expecting a tight, nervous affair between two sides who have been a bit short on confidence.

My predictions are notoriously poor but I'll go for a 1-1 draw on this occasion.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Dan for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @dancrawford85.

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