Parker confirms Fulham’s on-loan players will stay on

Anthony Knockaert of Fulham
Anthony Knockaert is among the players staying on at Fulham

On-loan trio Anthony Knockaert, Harry Arter and Harrison Reed will stay for the rest of the season and help Fulham’s fight for promotion.

The Whites have also agreed short-term extensions for all but one of their out-of-contract players, manager Scott Parker has confirmed, in a boost ahead their first game back – against local promotion rivals Brentford.

Parker said: “It’s very important to have kept hold of the loan players.

“They’re not an issue and will all stay here for the remaining part of the season.

“Regarding the players out of contract, there has only been an issue with one young player, who we have not come to a conclusion with. Everyone else is here for the remaining nine games and it’s all hands to the pump.

“Contracts-wise it’s pleasing to know we are in a situation we can use everyone.

“It’s nine games in 30-odd days and we are going to need the depth of the squad to get through this run.”

Parker’s side were in great form before the season was paused

Parker’s side were top of the form table before the coronavirus lockdown, with the Bees second, as both clubs chased Leeds and West Brom in the automatic promotion places.

But Parker has warned that the situation has changed and believes a huge test of his squad’s mentality lies ahead.

“The message has changed. It has to change because of the situation and the conditions we are now in,” he said.

“I think it is vitally important (to know) there are a tonnes of excuses at the moment, for the players and everyone in general.

“I often talk about mentality amongst the squad. If there was ever a challenge to test the mentality it’s going to be right now. I want us to embrace that challenge in front of us.

“Now there are a lot of challenges that are not so much football-related; more psychological, and putting yourself in a place to motivate yourself, and understand your goal at the end of the road.

“That’s been the message from me to the whole team. We are going to push and push, hit them full on, and if we do that I firmly believe at the end of this we could come out in a very good place.”