Football

No wholesale changes at promoted Fulham: Scott Parker

Fulham will bring in players for their campaign in the English Premier League next season but there will be no wholesale changes to the squad that sealed promotion yesterday morning (Singapore time), manager Scott Parker said.

The Cottagers secured their EPL spot with a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, thanks to an extra-time double by left-back Joe Bryan, before Henrik Dalsgaard pulled one back for the Bees right at the death.

The London club were relegated from England's top flight at the end of the 2018/19 campaign despite spending £100 million (S$179.7m) on players.

Said Parker: "You can't build teams with drastic changes, drastic swings of players coming in.

"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."

Key to Fulham's survival chances next season will be fledgling boss Parker, who is in his first job as manager.

Former Blackburn Rovers and England striker Chris Sutton praised his tactical acumen, writing in his Daily Mail column: "Parker got his tactics right, with Brentford's front three Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins - otherwise known as the BMW - hardly troubling their opponents at Wembley Stadium.

"Parker showed why managerless Bournemouth are interesting in speaking to him."

Dean Smith, who got promoted last season via the play-offs with Aston Villa agreed, telling Sky Sports: "When you're a manager who can bring that spirit to a football club, I think Scott Parker's done a fantastic job." - REUTERS

Football