Fulham v Spurs - media view with Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent
17 February 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Jack Pitt-Brooke is a regular in the press box both home and away with Spurs in his role as football writer for The Independent. He also knows London football inside-out, so he gave us his thoughts ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Fulham.
Football writer, The Independent
Fulham appear to be in good form, especially at home and manager Slavisa Jokanovic is very highly-rated - what is your take on them?
Jack: "They've had a difficult last few seasons and Fulham may hope the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic last season was a turning point for them. He's obviously a respected manager who took Watford into the Premier League (they were promoted from the Championship in 2014-15) but then didn't stay. They've also lost a lot of big players including Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele to Celtic. He's had to rebuild and they have good young players. Fulham have a good Academy run by Huw Jennings which has produced some seriously good players. It's difficult for them in the Championship because a number of teams have been able to spend big money but despite that, they have an interesting mix of signings and young players. I'm not sure if they'll be ready for a play-off push this season but the hope is maybe next season they'll have the pieces in place to push to get back into the Premier League."
Below: Slavisa Jokanovic
Fulham have already fired a warning shot in the FA Cup with a 4-1 win against Hull in the fourth round...
Jack: "Craven Cottage is a great place to go as a fan or journalist and the hope for Fulham is that they can start making it difficult for opposing teams again. Clearly, they did that in the last round against Hull City, although admittedly Hull probably had their eyes focused more on Premier League survival. Nevertheless, they are gathering momentum."
Below: Stefan Johansen celebrates his goal against Hull
It does look like all the ingredients are there for a classic FA Cup tie - as a journalist, how much do you relish games like this?
Jack: "Yes, certainly. Jokanovic's Watford team that got promoted to the Premier League was an incredibly good team to watch. He came in halfway through that season and they scored so many goals, they were just as good as Eddie Howe's Bournemouth team that came up the same season. Fulham are a really good side. I was at the first game of the season when they beat Rafa Benitez's Newcastle and they were really good that day as well. Jokanovic does like to play an attractive brand of football and he's started to get that across to the players."