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Bryan: 'The best feeling I've ever had'

5 August 2020

Two moments of brilliance from Joe Bryan saw Fulham return to the Premier League at the first time of asking with victory over Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final on Tuesday night.

Speaking to FFCtv after the game, Bryan described the feeling at full-time as ‘the best he’s ever had’ in his football career. 
"If you look at the team spirit we have, it’s unbelievable,” he said after the game. 
"Since we came back after the break we had one goal and we achieved it.”
Extra-time was required to separate the sides, but it was Bryan who was the unlikely hero, with two late goals to secure Fulham’s top-flight status once again.
"I saw the keeper off his line and I just thought I’d whip it in the near post and it paid off,” he explained, when asked about his first goal - a moment of brilliance from the left back, whose free-kick from 40 yards deceived the Brentford back line and beat goalkeeper David Raya. 
"We’ve been written off so many times this season after losing against some clubs, but we don’t give up and there was never any doubt in our minds tonight that we weren't going to win the game. 
"That’s all down to the manager. He’s taken the club from having a losing culture to where we are now. He’s freshened things up and created a winning culture, it’s a pleasure to come into training and we’ve got that winning mentality.”
Brentford went into the contest as favourites, but it was Fulham who dominated on the night. After breaking the deadlock in extra-time, a second goal came and it was Bryan who struck again to bury Brentford’s hopes of a comeback. 
The full-back made a blistering run through the Brentford half and finished coolly after some impressive link-up play with Golden Boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic. 
"I don’t get in front of goal often so it was nice to get a couple of shots off and score them too,” Bryan admitted. 
"Today was day 368 after the season started and we’ve kept going and going, we’ve not given up once even though we’ve been written off. I’m so proud.”
The win means Fulham return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, with Bryan admitting this is his best-ever feeling on a football pitch. 
"It’s at the top,” he said. "I’ve had some great memories at my former clubs, but this is by far and away the best feeling I’ve ever had. I’ll probably get the headlines but this is a team game and we’ve done brilliantly and everyone deserves it, they really do."

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