In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Tottenham Hotspur captain Gary Mabbutt has hailed the job being done by ex-Spurs coach Scott Parker at Fulham, but maintains that Jose Mourinho’s side must beat them on Thursday.
The Cottagers are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Premier League table and lie 18th ahead of a meeting with Mourinho’s men in midweek.
Fulham have actually been in fine form in recent weeks, particularly given their spot in the table.
They have not lost any of their last five games, drawing with West Ham United, Crystal Palace, and Burnley, and beating Everton and Sheffield United.
Those results have moved the club within three points of Newcastle United in 17th and given them a genuine chance of survival, and Mabbutt has been impressed with the job Parker is doing.
Of course, with Spurs struggling for form, they have only taken six points from the last five games, compared to Fulham’s nine.
The ex-midfielder spent two years at Spurs between 2011 and 2013 and went on to coach the club’s Under-18 team before his move to Craven Cottage.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, Mabbutt said: “Scott’s job is clear, it’s to keep Fulham in the Premier League. Scott’s a great lad. I know him well from his time at Spurs, and he was on the coaching staff at Spurs. Fantastic lad. Great character.
“He’s working hard at Fulham to try to get the best out of them. As far as the results have gone, I think in the last five games, they’ve got more points than Spurs have, which is a quite incredible stat. But they have.”
Mabbutt is clear, though, that there can be no sympathy shown for Parker or Fulham on Thursday when the two teams meet.
He has told Spurs that it is a must-win game as they look to claw their way back into the race to qualify for the Champions League, and has pointed to Fulham’s woes at home – they have lost seven games at home this season.
He added: “He’s got to keep building on that. You know, they’ve thrown away some silly points, made some silly mistakes, but as far as we’re concerned, this is a game we have to win. Fulham are fighting for their lives the bottom of the table.
“Quite amazingly, they’ve only lost four away from home and they’ve lost seven at home. So their home form is obviously a real problem for them. And we want to make sure that we realise that.”