Scott Parker insists he remains calm despite Fulham’s current league position, and maintains the mood around the club is different to his own experiences of relegation as a player.
The 40-year-old earned the Football Writers’ Association player of the year award for his performances in the 2010-11 season, despite West Ham finishing bottom of the Premier League having won just seven games all year.
Similarities can be drawn between his experiences with the Hammers and Fulham’s current predicament, as they currently sit 18th in the table with just two wins to their name this season.
Despite securing impressive draws at Tottenham and against champions Liverpool, Fulham have struggled to find the net this season.
But Parker said the mood around the squad is completely different to the one he experienced at West Ham.
“I didn’t have the feeling of what I feel here,” the Fulham boss said.
“I didn’t have the feeling that I feel every day on the training field, which is my main gauge.
“You guys (the media) will make their judgements on the results, like everyone will, and I understand that. But I see this group of players every day, I see the challenges we faced early on and where we needed to get to, and I see a constant belief.
“When you lose football matches and confidence is down in football squads, the first place you see it is on the training ground. That lack of energy, you’ll often also find in-house bickering or problems inside the squad due to disappointment, people not happy with certain issues. The whole demeanour of players becomes very negative.
“I experienced that first hand as a player in a relegation team. I don’t see that one bit here. That’s been a main driver from me to not have that because I realised at the start of the season that this season was going to be a challenge for us.”
The Cottagers have scored just 17 times in the top flight and have recorded fewer wins than Sheffield United, who remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.
Fulham host West Ham on Saturday, with David Moyes’ men currently in fifth place, just two points behind Liverpool, but Parker is not feeling the pressure.
“I’m really, really calm. The current situation doesn’t surprise me,” the Fulham manager said.
“We’re trying every day with the players, the players are trying as hard as they can. This was the position we’re in and the predicament we’re in.
“I’ve been at the football club now for two years. I see from last year to this year and the big jump that we’ve made in the division.
“I knew we would have to be comfortable in and around where are are at this present moment in time.”