Cottagers relegated after 13 years in the Premier League
13 proved to be an unlucky number for Fulham after they were relegated to the Championship after 13 successive seasons in the top flight of English football.
previously previewed one of Town’s new opponents next season in Cardiff City (click HERE)
and over the next couple of weeks will look at Norwich, Wolves, Brentford and Rotherham.
However, the spotlight is on Fulham who went through three managers during a dismal campaign on the pitch, which culminated in relegation on the penultimate match of the season at Stoke.
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HEAD TO HEAD
The last meeting between the sides was during Fulham’s promotion season from Football League Division 1. It proved to be a contrasting season for both clubs with the Terriers suffering relegation to Division 2.
Both matches in the 2000/01 season were won by Fulham. Scott Sellars saw red in the clash at Craven Cottage as Louis Saha, Bjarne Goldbaek and Steve Finnan netted in a comfortable victory. The return leg proved to be slightly more even with a Luis Boa Morte goal five minutes from time settling the match 2-1. Saha had earlier given Fulham the lead before Delroy Facey equalised.
Town’s last win against Fulham was over two decades ago in 1993; Stuart Hicks netted for the Terriers in a one goal win.
Despite Town’s recent poor form against the Cottagers, they have the upper hand in the head to head record. The Terriers have won 25 meetings whereas Fulham have recorded victory 21 times.
Felix Magath made his first move to English football when he accepted the manager’s post at Fulham in 2014. Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen had both being sacked prior to Magath’s arrival and had left the Cottagers in a precarious position upon the German’s arrival.
He won his first match in charge against Newcastle, but picked up just four points from his first six matches. Fulham’s survival bid lasted until the penultimate match of the season though, when they relegated following a 4-1 defeat against Soke.
As a manager, Magath quickly gained respect and became notorious for his hard, grinding training methods, laying heavy emphasis on discipline, fitness and conditioning. During his career as a coach he won the German Bundesliga title twice with Bayern Munich and a further time with VFL Wolfsbury.
John Arne Riise
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With Fulham releasing nine ageing first team players it is likely they will focus on youth rather than experience as they look to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Of those players released was Steve Sidwell who impressed from midfield for the Cottagers; he has already been linked with a move to Newcastle.
However, the likes of Patrick Roberts, George Williams and Moussa Dembele all starred for the Club’s Under-18s team as they reached the final of the FA Youth Cup. They were narrowly beaten by Chelsea having beaten Town in the Quarter Finals.
Roberts is arguably the brightest talent despite the goals of Dembele throughout the campaign. The number 10 featured for the First Team towards the end of last season and recently excelled and scored as the England U17s won the European Championship.
If Fulham manage to keep a hold of the 17 year-old, he is definitely one to watch out for next season.
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