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Fulham boss Scott Parker ‘gutted’ by return to behind-closed-doors matches

Fulham v Liverpool – Premier League – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: Neil Hall)

Scott Parker says he is devastated that Fulham have to go back to playing their home games behind closed doors.

Craven Cottage welcomed supporters for the first time since February when 2,000 fans watched Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Premier League champions Liverpool, but, with London moving into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions, the club must return to playing in an empty stadium, starting with Wednesday night’s visit of Brighton.

“It’s devastating news to be quite honest with you, because I think, if there was anything I was quite complimentary about, or certainly was massive for us against Liverpool, it was the fans,” manager Parker said.

“Two thousand in that stadium, but it was electric and it was a real breath of fresh air and it shows how much we’ve missed them.

“As quickly as the fans came in they’ve gone back out – it’s the current climate we’re in. Everything in this day that we live in is very uncertain and things change very quickly, which we’re all only experiencing and we’re all understanding.

“But I can’t lie, it’s obviously very disappointing, because at times during this season, when you are where we are, they’re going to be the help we need, they’re going to be that extra person and that extra man for us, so I’m gutted for that and I’m gutted for the fans as well.

“They waited a long time last year and the experiences we had to get Premier League football and obviously that wait is going to go on that little bit longer.”

After a disappointing start to the season, Fulham have taken four points from their last three games against Leicester, Manchester City and Liverpool, although Burnley’s win at Arsenal has left them in the bottom three.

However, Parker insists he is not focusing on league position at the moment.

“In terms of the table and where teams lie and where we lie at this moment in time, it’s probably not a big focus for me on where we go and where we can jump, I think the main focus for me is trying to win games and trying to get points,” the 40-year-old said.

“Whether that’s against Brighton, Liverpool, Man City, we’re always going into games trying to put our way on the game and trying to come out with points.

“So another huge game for us this year, but every game this year is going to be massive, just like the last one was and the one after this will again be a big game.

“I like where we are at the moment and I like where we’re going and we need to keep on that track really and try and put in another good performance tomorrow night.”