Fulham job is top post says Pete
CARETAKER boss Peter Grant insists whoever takes the helm at Craven Cottage will be on to a winner despite Fulham going four games without a win after being held by Preston.
The hosts found themselves behind after just 11 minutes as Joe Garner headed home, only for captain Ross McCormack to rescue a point with a superb free-kick with quarter of an hour left.
It was the striker’s fifth goal in his last six matches but it is wins that Fulham desperately need as they dropped to 13th, and Grant is adamant the new permanent manager will have everything he needs at his disposal to help the Cottagers climb back up the table.
“I turn up every day,” he said. “If I am asked to take charge then that is no problem whatsoever.
“I have to give the boys great credit because they are only human beings but they have gone about their business fantastically well.
“When the new manager comes in I will be telling him what I think, like the pros and cons, but when he looks at the group he will be delighted, because I feel this group are more than capable of winning games.
“I have to give the players great credit for the second half. I thought there was only one team who were going to win it and that was ourselves.
“We needed a bit of magic from McCormack and I’m delighted with that. Hopefully we can kick on now.”
Preston made the brighter start as a long ball forward found striker Eoin Doyle on the edge of the box and his fierce half volley forced Joe Lewis into a diving save.
Minutes later Fulham escaped again as a whipped corner travelled through their box untouched and narrowly bounced wide.
But the home side did find themselves behind when a cross from Paul Gallagher was nodded in at the back post by an unmarked Garner.
The forward went close to adding a spectacular second when he shot inches wide from 30 yards, which sparked anger from the home fans at their side’s slow start.
That brought a reaction as Tom Cairney’s low drive almost found the bottom corner, before Moussa Dembele almost equalised with a curling shot from the edge of the box which was tipped over the bar.
Fulham entered the second half with purpose, but they squandered a fine chance when Cairney chose not to shoot from close range, and pass to an offside Dembele.
Minutes later they had a major claim for a penalty when Ryan Fredericks was hauled down in the box by Gallagher, but the referee shook his head.
McCormack forced Jordan Pickford into a low save from long range, but he found the net minutes later with a fine free-kick.
That brought Preston out of their shell and Garner wasted a fine chance for a winner when he headed straight at Lewis.
“It was a good performance, I thought we were right on the front foot from the first whistle,” said Preston boss Simon Grayson.
“We passed the ball well, defended well and were a real threat going forward.We justifiably got the goal early on and looked like a threat.
“We limited them to very few opportunities over the course of the game.
“After their goal we didn’t buckle and we had a go.We had men flying forward and unfortunately couldn’t quite get that winner that I think we probably deserved.”
LATE LEVELLER: Fulham’s Ross McCormack, right, celebrates scoring Fulham’s second-half equaliser