BY YANN TEA
Fulham owner Shahid Khan appears set to listen to first team players in weighing up whether to give Scott Parker the task of trying to lead the Whites in the Championship next season.
Caretaker boss Parker improved his chances of landing the job full-time when he oversaw Fulham’s third win in a row – offsetting the five defeats he suffered in his first games in charge following the departure of Claudio Ranieri.
The fixture list pitted his side against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City at home and there also defeats at Leicester City and Watford, when the goals against column continue to take a hammering as the team’s run of defeats extended to nine.
But his first game, against Chelsea hinted that he could inspire better performances and the last win under the Ranieri regime was credited to a stirring half-time team-talk he gave when the Whites were 2-0 down to Brighton, but stormed back for an electrifying 4-2 win.
Parker finally grabbed a first win against Everton and followed up with two more clean sheets victories which has put a smile back of the faces of players and supporters alike.
Parker has been in talks with Khan’s son Tony this week – the vice chairman and director of football operations – and having drawn up a list of transfer targets and helped to plan the pre-season programme, including games in Portugal, it appears the club are already keen on the idea of keeping the 38-year-old at the helm.
Several key players like skipper Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon have indicated they are behind the popular ex-midfielder and the signs are that the Fulham hierarchy will take notice.
Parker said after Saturday’s 1-0 win at home to Cardiff City – Ryan Babel’s superb strike settling the outcome against the Bluebirds: “It’s out of my control. “All I can control is trying to put out a team with the traits that the fans want and that I want.
“And certainly over the last couple of weeks, we have got that.” Parker is in contention for the Premier League’s April Manager of the Month award after the upturn of results.
He is up against title chasers Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp, as well as boss of Saturday’s opponents Wolves, Nuno Espírito Santo.
Fulham will be aiming to close the chapter on their single season back in the top flight with another win at Molineux before the final match at home to Newcastle United next weekend.
It is not known whether Denis Odoi will be available at Wolves, although he is on the mend after suffering a head injury against Cardiff. He was stretchered off after colliding with teammate Maxime Le Marchand.
“He’s okay,” Parker said. “He was out cold for four to five seconds. “Concussion protocol meant he had to come off but he’s all good. I’ve been told he’s okay.
“The medical team were first class in getting him off and getting him healthy.”