Despite our best efforts again Nottingham Forest at the weekend, we managed to secure Championship safety for another season thanks mainly due to the fact there were three worse teams than us in the league.
All of this of course means that we can turn our attentions to next term and hopefully give SJ the investment and support we were unable to provide thanks to a transfer embargo in January. On paper, it’s easy to presume that a few decent investments in defence and Fulham should be laughing their way to the play-offs, but we all know it isn’t that simple especially when you factor in that at least one of the McCormack/Dembele partnership is unlikely to be with us come August. There are a lots of other questions that still need to be answered as well. Perhaps this will be the season we finally get some cash back on Mitroglou and Stekelenberg? Perhaps we will finally admit defeat on Amorebieta as a defensive option at any level?
I think the best case scenario for us as fans was to get to this stage of the season with enough confidence that Jokanovic is still the man to take us forward. Speaking for myself, that is certainly the case. Pre-season will hopefully provide the chance to implement a philosophy without fear of relegation. While our defending has not exactly come on leaps and bounds under the Serbian, my glimmer of hope comes in the fact that Michael Madl, who he added on deadline day, has probably been the best of a bad bunch, so given a bit of money he may be able to create a solid unit for the year ahead.
By no means is this a happy club. Rumours of player discontent remains and I don’t doubt there will be a number of leavers we don’t necessarily forecast. If we can maintain stability in the dugout though then we will hopefully give reign for the emergence of a well-drilled squad rather than numerous groups of different managers signings squeezed on to a page.
It would be fair to say that the only consistent thing about Fulham this season has been our inconsistency! The optimist in me says there is a real chance we could make those tweaks and kick on next season, but then again if these last few years have taught us anything it is that when you think it can’t get any worse.. It really can.
Surviving relegation is never going to be something to joyously celebrate but let’s be thankful we have given ourselves another chance to recover despite a year of multiple managers and transfer embargos! And let’s not forget we still took six points off QPR!