Alan and I shared a mini cab to Hove and thence Worthing where he has a bungalow. Alan was gracious enough to admit that the managerless Seagulls were worthy winners and if we survive relegation by three points happy at least they came from Fulham. We hope to do better than this. It’s strongly rumoured that Chris Hughton will get the gig and he was in the short list for Fulham. Having achieved promotion with Newcastle and a play off place with Birmingham he knows the requirements of the division. In my opinion he would do well.
As for the game the decision to play two holding midfielders Ince and Holla worked well with Halford and Dunk proving a redoubtable barrier. However we had no Bent nor Gardner nor Forster Caskey. For once we not only defended our lead but added to it with young Solly March scoring his first for us with a goal in the dying minutes.
It’s not for me to pass judgment on other clubs but I did comment to Alan that four years ago Fulham saw off Roma, Juventus, Wolfsburg, Shaktar Donetsk and held an Atletico Madrid side for 117 minutes containing Aguerro, Gea and Forkan so its quite a fall from grace. Alan is hopeful that the chairman now he has 17 months experience will understand the job better, spend money in the window and that Kit will continue to get the club on track. However over the festive period they have lost 2-0 to two South Coast outfits and need greater consistency.
We go to West London again on Saturday with a tough away Cup fixture at Brentford. We can probably do without a cup run and concentrate our efforts on the championship as we entertain high flying Ipswich in January.
There are many connections between our two clubs and the programme featured one of them Teddy Maybank whose career was marred by knee injury. We recall recently the Micky Adams side that played its first game back at Brighton at the Withdean Stadium after two years exile , Darren Freeman scoring both the first goal back at Brighton and in the millennium. Simon Morgan captained the side of which the star striker was Bobby Zamora. Aaron Hughes and David Stockdale and Bent are ex-Cottagers . Everyone likes Fulham and my nephew Richard who accompanied us in the cab said he had no fears wearing his blue scarf on the way to the game. There was a bit of banter between both sets of supporters but not the toxic atmosphere when we play Crystal Palace. We have played Fulham home and away and it’s honours even and Alan’s parting shot was that we would be playing each other again next season too.