Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Friday February 10 2012
This week Lloyd Reddin went down South and sat on The Thames as he asked the Fulham fans over at 'Cottage Corner` their pre-match views.
1. What were your expectations for this season? And have they now changed?
Richard Hobson Mid table mediocrity & to get to the knock out rounds in the Europa. League ambition hasn't changed. Europa ended disappointingly.
Marc Bacon Personally my expectations were, at the start of the season, mid-table in the league with a decent cup run in Europe or the domestically. Now, being out of all cups my expectations are just another average league finish of between 9th and 14th.
2. Who would you say is your danger man?
Richard Hobson On current form you'd have to say Dempsey. Although, perhaps, Stoke should be fearful of another Chrissy Baird brace.
Marc Bacon Clint has to be our danger man. The numbers speak for themselves.
3. Clint Dempsey is a player I hold in high esteem and enjoy watching (expect for over us, he does have a knack of scoring against us) and he could walk into most teams in the league, so my question is, how have you kept such a talent at your club?
Richard Hobson I'm not really sure. I think he enjoys having a lead role at a so called smaller club. If he went to a bigger club I could see him getting frozen out and not getting the freedom he's afforded at Fulham. That said, I've no idea why one of the big clubs haven't gone for him.
Marc Bacon I think he genuinely loves the club, sometimes that is all it takes. I also think he appreciates the big fish in a little pond situation and would rather that than be a bench warmer at a big club.
4. What would you say are your strengths as a team?
Richard Hobson Our home record. We're a completely different beast at Craven Cottage.
Marc Bacon Our strengths revolve heavily around our defence, i am biased but it is one of the best in the league imo. Perhaps not so much with Senderos in the side, but certainly with Hughes playing it is.
5. What would you say are your weaknesses as a team?
Richard Hobson We have no top quality striker. Although I'm hoping Poga can get off to a good start tomorrow.
Marc Bacon Creativity is something we've lacked for a while at this level, we had it in spells some time back but Danny Murphy is no spring chicken anymore and it's starting to take its toll now.
6. How do you feel about your manager?
Richard Hobson I like him. I think he's in the process of building an exciting team and should be given time to see the job out. Many more would disagree with me though.
Marc Bacon I'm a fan of Jol and still think he needs more time to really show his influence on the club. I hope i'm right in my confidence, but it wouldn't be my first poor judgement.
7. You were quite active on the final day of the January transfer window, what do you think about your deals?
Richard Hobson I'm disappointed to see Zamora go because he was the focal point of our attack. Whether we've found a suitable replacement or not remains to be seen. He never endeared himself to the Fulham fans with his goal celebrations though. Showed no gratitude despite having his name sung from the stands. Moving to QPHaHA makes him the typical pantomime villain.
Marc Bacon The proof of the pudding will be in the tasting, but i think we did ok, most notably the Russian but only time will tell.
8. Which player (s) do you fear from the Stoke City side?
Richard Hobson Andy Wilkinson and his viscous lunges.
Marc Bacon To be honest, any of them that decide they're going to kick all our boys up in the air again as opposed to try and play. It happens every time and it's a shame. Although i do think it gives us the edge over you. You`re a totally different side this year, so maybe it won't happen, but I`ve got my doubts.
9. Is there any Stoke players you would like to add to your squad?
Richard Hobson Crouch would be a good replacement for Zamora but we failed to sign him in the past.
Marc Bacon No.
10. How do you think Stoke will do this season?
Richard Hobson They'll probably finish a place above us. 10th or 11th.
Marc Bacon Probably not unlike ourselves, i'm sure we'll be fighting you for the non-descript positions in the lower mid-table. EXCITING
11. What is your likely line-up for the match?
Richard Hobson Schwarzer, Kelly, Senderos, Hnageland, Riise, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Dembele & Poga'.
Marc Bacon It'll be similar to last time out i should think, plus one russian hopefully.
12. Finally, what`s your score prediction for the match?
Richard Hobson 1-1
Marc Bacon I think we'll win, but it'll probably only be a goal in it either way, i fully expect it to be a bore fest.
Thanks to all at Cottage Corner (http://cc.fulhamfc.com/) who took part.
After reading all their replies, they have the same concensus as me and believe the game will be a close thought encounter, but I just can`t see Stoke getting anything at the Cottage so I`m going to say a 2-0 victory to Fulham to continue our recent woeful form.
Date:Friday February 10 2012
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