Fulham - Long Ball Merchants?
The fuse has certainly been lit ahead of Fulham`s Europa league second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk, in the Ukraine, tonight.
According to quotes appearing in the tabloids this morning, Fulham are nothing but a long ball team!
Well that`s what the Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is attributed as saying when he`s reportedly remarked about the first leg, which Fulham won 2-1,
"It was a duel between two completely different styles of playing."
"Fulham were based on their physical strength and long passes. We construct our game with technique and fast dribbling."
"We deserve to play in the final phase of any tournament because we play a spectacular game which is interesting everyone."
Controversial stuff and we`re sure you have your own thoughts on such comments, especially the leading one. But 'Gentleman Roy` refused to be drawn into a war of words simply replying,
"I know Lucescu quite well. I don`t think there are any doubts in his mind about the type of team we are."
"We`re confident we`ll give them a good game after we gave them a good game at home."
"In the second half, we took the game to them and just about deserved to come away with a victory. We have a lot of respect for Donetsk. We don`t lack confidence but we`re not suffering from over confidence."
Before going on to discuss the game, commenting,
"An away goal is useful, of course, as you can make the task a little bit easier for yourself."
"But it`s an away goal in a defeat so they still have to win the game."
"It is nice to have an advantage but it is a slender one and we are expecting an onslaught from them."
"Playing for a draw is a difficult thing to do, you automatically give the initiative to the other team."
"I don`t think it is in our nature or in our style of play to do that, surrender the initiative and try to shut up shop for 90 minutes."
"First of all, we will try to stop them causing us problems and then when we get the ball, we can cause them some."
It promises to be an intriguing night and I only wish I had enough cash to be there but unfortunately I don`t! Such is life!