Behind Enemy Lines: Fulham

MILLWALL take on Fulham at The Den tonight looking for a first win in four league games.  

The Lions are down to 11th in the Championship table after Tuesday night's games, five points off the top six.

Millwall are on a revenge mission against Scott Parker's side after their 4-0 thumping at Cottage Cottage last August.



Alex Grace spoke to Fulham fan Alan Drewett ahead of the crunch London derby.

Twitter: @alandrewettjnr

Why do you support Fulham?



My parents are both lifelong supporters so it was only right that I would follow suit.

What's been your favourite season following the Cottagers?

There have been a few which have been memorable but the one that sticks out for me is the 2009-10 season when we reached the Europa League Final.

We beat some giants that year in Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg. The whole season from start to finish was enjoyable and certainly memorable.

And the worst?

In 24 years of going, I have been quite fortunate that there haven't been too many bad seasons, but last season was a disaster from start to finish.

The club was quite naive in the approach to the Premier League and thought that by throwing money at it, we would get instant results.

Unfortunately, too many errors happened off the pitch as well as on it and I just hope we can learn from it if and when we return to the Premier League.

After a patchy run of form, are things now really coming together for Fulham ?

Absolutely, and that is mainly down to the recruitment of Michael Hector and the safe hands of Martin Rodak.

We signed well in the summer but we did not strengthen where we needed to the most and that was in defence. We look more stable in defence now and the fact we have kept four clean sheets in the last five league games has given the whole team confidence.

I feel like things are starting to fall into place and it promises to be an exciting end to the season.

Were you happy with the business Fulham managed to do in January?

The January transfer window has certainly been a success in my opinion.

We signed Hector from Chelsea and Terence Kongolo from Huddersfield to bolster our defence as well as turning loan deals into permanent deals for Ivan Cavaleiro and Bobby Decordova-Reid, which is important for us moving forward.

We also signed a former Millwall goalkeeper in Jordan Archer as backup to Rodak and Marcus Bettinelli.

How do you see Archer getting on at Fulham?

I am going to be honest, I don't see Jordan getting much game time unless Martin Rodak and Marcus Bettinelli get injured. He's an experienced goalkeeper in the Football League and hopefully his experience can help our current goalkeepers as well as the young goalkeepers coming through.

The league has really tightened up now with Leeds and West Brom's faltering form – how do you see it?

I think any one of five could still go up automatically and it just depends on who can find that consistency between now and the end of the season.

Any team from West Brom to Derby in 13th can still go up.

Leeds have faltered more times than most in recent years and it will be interesting to see whether they can find a second wind and finish in the automatic places.

West Brom find themselves looking over their shoulders and are finding it difficult, but I do feel they will have enough to finish in the top two.

Can Fulham pip Leeds to second spot?

I certainly think we can and I would not rule out us catching West Brom either.

We still have them both to play away from home and if we can take points off both teams, I would fancy us to finish in the automatic places.

I just think we have the ability to bounce back quicker than the top two if we have a bad result. It would also be great to see Leeds fail to get promotion after another season of throwing it away.

Millwall lost 4-0 at Fulham last August

How have you rated Millwall's season to date?

I think Millwall are the team to watch between now and the end of the season.

The start of the season seemed a bit hit and miss under Neil Harris and when we played them at the Cottage in August, it was too easy for us at times.

Millwall have one of the best home records in the league and they are giving themselves a chance to reach the play-offs by being consistent at The Den. I think they will if they can starting winning games away from home.

What are your thoughts on Gary Rowett?

Gary Rowett is a very good Championship manager and is probably unlucky to not have managed in the Premier League in recent years.

He was doing well with Birmingham before they bizarrely sacked him, he went close to promotion with Derby and was not given much time with Stoke on their return to the Championship.

It seems from the outside that Millwall and Rowett are a good fit and it will be interesting to see just how far he can take them.

If you could sign two Millwall players, who would they be and why?

The two players I would sign are Jed Wallace and Abdul Abdulmalik.

Every time I have watched Wallace play he just stands out and looks special at times.

I have a good friend that supports Millwall and told me about Abdulmalik and promises me he will go far.

We are known for bringing the best out of youngsters, such as Ryan Sessegnon and Moussa Dembele, so he would definitely be a signing for the longer term.

Will you be at the game?

I will be at the game on Wednesday.

What is your predicted Fulham starting XI and formation?

4-1-2-3: Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; McDonald; Cairney, Onomah; Cavaleiro, Mitrovic, Decordova-Reid.

Finally, a score prediction?

I think it will be a close game but I am hoping, just like many times this season, Aleksandar Mitrovic will prove to be the difference.

A hard-fought 1-0 victory for us.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18 

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)