With the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final with less than 24 hours away, we caught up with Fulham's Harrison Reed to get his thoughts on the game against Brentford.
Will there be any changes to how Fulham do things in the Final?
Nothing has changed at the moment and I don’t think it will to be honest. Since the Semi-Final game against Cardiff, we have just been through our recovery process and getting our preparations for this game sorted. There is no getting away from the fact that it is a huge game, and I don’t think there is any need to change anything because it has got us to where we are now.
What is it been like for you on personal level to work with someone like Scott Parker?
It has been a great experience for me. I speak to him every day and I have learnt a lot from him as he played the same position as me during his playing days; I listen to exactly what he says because of the knowledge that he has in that position. With the career that he has had, I want to learn off him as much as I can, and I think if I was to come here and not learn anything it would have been a disaster.
You have had some loan spells throughout your career, how highly does Tuesday night’s Play-Off Final rank for you?
Yeah, it is right up there. This game is the biggest of my career so far and I am really looking forward to it. I have worked all my career to get to Wembley because I haven’t actually played here before - I have had a couple of friends play there and I have spoken to them about it, but now it is my chance to do it and I hope we can come away with it with a promotion to the Premier League.
You joined the club a year ago after Fulham were relegated from the Premier League… how much have you enjoyed your time there?
Despite them being relegated the season before, I came into a dressing room full of positivity and passion to bounce straight back up and you can see over the last 12 months how much hard work has been put into making sure that we have a one-game shootout with Brentford, to take us back to where we want to be and achieve our target which we set at the start of the season.
How vital has Aleksandar Mitrovic been for the Whites this season?
What a player he has been for us this season. He is now back training after the injury he picked up on the final day of the season, so he targeted this game to make sure he was back and it has been brilliant to see him in training. To see him work off the pitch and then to see him carry that onto the pitch is inspirational for everyone at the club. With the amount of time he put in at the gym and on the pitch, it is no surprise that he won the Golden Boot this season.
Just before the enforced break you were out with a calf injury; did the disruption to the season help you out a bit?
Yeah it did and I think I am one of the very few individuals that was quite pleased about it, because I was just getting back to full fitness and the injury hadn’t really healed 100 per cent. So the postponement of the games helped me to make sure that I got my body back to where it was before and I made sure that I did everything I could to make sure I was back for the restart.
Who would you say are favourites to win on Tuesday night?
Whether people want to say we are favourites or they are, it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, it is about the team that turns up and performs on the day. We have done everything right and we are in confident mood ahead of this one.
You face Brentford in the Final, a West London derby - you must be aware of the rivalry between the two teams?
Yes I am fully aware and that is something that us as players will be carrying on our shoulders, we want to do it for our fans and we want to do it for the club. Since I arrived here we have always preformed to our highest standard but we know games against Brentford mean more to them and it means exactly the same to us as well.
What have you thought about the Bees since the restart?
I think they have had a great restart and they are probably the form team in the division, they were unlucky not to make it into that final automatic promotion spot in the end. You look at those last two games and you will think that they will have been bitterly disappointed to miss out in that spot, but you saw how good they can be, especially in that Semi-Final second leg.
How exciting is the Championship as a division?
There are no easy games in this division and we have seen that season upon season, you just have to look at the result - there are some surprising results most weeks to be honest with you. It is a fantastic division, I have enjoyed playing in the Championship over the past three seasons and, as a player, you get a buzz playing in this competition because of how competitive it is.
How has playing in the Championship benefitted you as a player?
Massively, working under three great managers in the three years that I have been in the Championship has been huge for me, I have had to deal with different challenges during those seasons and different expectations. I think this year has been the best for me, I feel like I have been at my best and that is down to everyone at this football club - I think there is a lot to come from me personally.