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Parker's emotional rollercoaster

5 August 2020

Fulham manager Scott Parker came close to tears as he spoke to the media after guiding his side to Play-Off Final victory over West London rivals Brentford on Tuesday night.

Two goals from full-back Joe Bryan saw the Whites become one of only two teams to secure promotion to the Premier League via the Play-Offs in three seasons, and Parker says his emotion comes from the difficulty they have had to endure this season.

“This is my proudest moment by a long way,” said Parker with the gold winners medal around his neck.

"I said to the guys why I am so proud of them because I have seen them grow during a journey which has been tough this year.

“I am emotional and proud of the players because of how difficult and tough it has been, but when you are in amongst it and it is going at 100 miles per hour you lose sight of other things, and I have probably done that with my family and everything else.

“But I could not do what I do over the last year or so without that support network of people around me that make me feel strong when I am at my weakest, and I think that is why I am emotional.”

Bryan’s tremendous free-kick saw him beat Bees goalkeeper David Raya from 40-yards out to give the Whites the lead in extra-time. Scoring from that far out can sometimes be a fluke, but for Parker and Bryan, that was always the plan.

“We did our work on the goalkeeper, he has a very high aggressive starting position from wide free-kicks. We looked at it and brought it up in a set-piece meeting and spoke to Joe {Bryan} and Harrison Reed who would have been the opposite side,” he explained.

“I called Joe {Bryan} over as we brought Mitro on {Aleksandar Mitrovic} because I thought he was just going to cross it in with obviously with one of Mitrovic’s assists being his heading.

“So I called him over without trying to let onto Brentford’s bench and Brentford’s players - so tried to bluff it a bit - and I told him to really go for it and see what happens and thankfully it went in.”

Fulham only managed a single season the last time they were promoted to the Premier League, something Scott Parker has highlighted has to changed under his stewardship.

“There were some clear errors made and we will learn from that. We will have to learn from that. We are going into the best league in the world with the best players in the world. It is a brutal league and I realise the challenge ahead,” he admitted.

“I don’t want to think about too much at the moment, because I want to enjoy what we have achieved so far but I think we all understand that we have to learn from previous mistakes, there are no doubts about that.

“We are trying to build here - not just with the players, but the whole club by putting in some core foundations and sometimes them foundations get you far in life. You can have as much talent as you like but if you build your football club on sand it be a rollercoaster ride."

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