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Scott Parker knows Fulham must adapt to new challenge and right previous wrongs

Fulham v Manchester City – Premier League – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: Jonathan Brady)

Scott Parker wants his Fulham players to prove themselves this season and learn from previous mistakes as they prepare to host Arsenal in their season opener on Saturday.

During their last campaign in the top flight following promotion via the play-offs in 2018, Fulham under-performed throughout the season, winning only seven matches before being relegated after amassing just 26 points.

A number of players from that season, in which Parker was named caretaker boss following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, have remained, including last season’s Championship golden boot winner Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Parker says they have something to prove.

“One million per cent. They have,” Parker said. “Last time we were in this position we didn’t do too well, we got relegated. It was a tough year and I’m sure those players that during that season they would say the same.

“I would like to think that if they were sitting in this position, they are thinking exactly that. Every single one of us has got something to prove this year, and they know exactly that.

“I’d like to think that for everyone around us at this moment, whether it be the experiences of last time in this division, or something to prove with just coming into this club, you need to set a bar and say something about yourself, every one of us this year is going to need that mindset and mentality if we are going to be successful, to be sure.”

In the Championship last season, Fulham finished fourth, with 23 wins from their 46 matches, however the manager insisted the club will need a different outlook as they prepare to come up against the top sides in England.

Parker said: “It’s definitely a mentality shift, I think it is probably a little bit similar to last year when we went from losing a lot of football matches in a short space of time to being expected to win a lot, being top of the league, and expected to win it.

“It is not the same in that sense of that mentality shift as well. That is something I am very conscious of and something we need to manage, highlight and realise where we are and what is expected of us this year.

“Large parts in successful teams for me is a mindset, players understanding where they are and what is expected and what they need to do.

“That is the challenge we face this year and is different to last year, but a challenge this year that we need to prove we are good enough to be in this division, prove we can go up against the best players and teams and really give it a go.

“That is a mindset that is down to me to change and the players to understand.”