In-form & fully fit Taggart closes on Fulham debut

A fully fit Adam Taggart says his ambition for the remainder of the season is to not only break into the Fulham first team but begin banging away the goals.

Taggart is yet to make his Fulham debut after joining the Championship club in June last year, due to an ongoing adductor injury.

Late last month Taggart returned to competitive action, after an injury setback, with Fulham’s reserves and has now scored three goals in three games to press his first-team claims.

It wasn't long ago, the 21-year-old played all three games for Australia at the 2014 World Cup on the back of a stunning 2013-14 campaign where he won the A-League Golden Boot with the Newcastle Jets.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Taggart admitted it had been frustrating not to be able to continue that momentum since his move to Fulham, but had a clear goal for the remainder of the season.

“I want to be playing first-team football,” Taggart said. “That’s why I came here.

“I’ve had a slow start from injury obviously but now I’m back.

“It drove me a bit crazy being out, because my whole life was based around goals and winning games. That’s where I get my buzz from and what I only think about.

“Now I’m fit again it’s like I’m back into challenging for my spot like always. I thrive upon that.

“I had a big challenge at Perth, I had a big challenge at Newcastle and it’s no different now.

“I’m confident in my own ability. I just need to keep working hard to get that opportunity.

“Everything about my game is based around goals, so my aim for a player at Fulham is to be scoring goals on a regular basis.”

Taggart faces stiff competition from the likes of Bryan Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega and Ross McCormack for a first-team spot, but it doesn’t deter his belief.

The Socceroo wasn’t part of Fulham’s squad for Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Ipswich, but manager Kit Symons will be noting his progress given the Cottagers are 19th in the Championship and have only managed five goals in a winless run of six games.

Taggart’s form, which has included goals against West Ham, Manchester United and Everton in the reserves, has aided his case and he felt he was “regaining his sharpness”.

The Perth-born attacker only resumed competitive action on January 21 against PSV Eindhoven.

He had made an initial comeback in December, playing three times in the reserves as he was desperately keen to be part of the Asian Cup squad, but suffered a cruel setback in training.

“It was my first couple of days back. I slipped in training,” he recalled.

“We originally thought it wasn’t as bad as it was, so I carried on for a couple of weeks but I was really struggling.

“Eventually after monitoring it for a few weeks we had a scan and it showed I had a tear in my left adductor.”

It was the same problem which Taggart had undergone minor surgery on in September, with a recovery timeframe of approximately eight to 12 weeks.

The setback meant his Asian Cup hopes were dashed, but still he thoroughly enjoyed Australia’s triumph.

“It was extremely disappointing to have the small setback and be out longer, but at the same time I couldn’t be happier for the country,” he said.

“It was exciting to watch it. Everyone in Australia and everyone who’s been involved in the national team felt a part of it.

“In the end, Australia has got what they deserved. The whole process with Ange (Postecoglou) has really come to life with what he wants to do.

“We played in some extremely tough friendlies before the World Cup, we had an extremely tough group at the World Cup and now all the hard work and the experiences put into the squad has really shone.

“It was nice to get the reward for that.”

Taggart’s Fulham are next in action on Saturday against Millwall in the league, while the reserves face Chelsea on Thursday.