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Scott Parker admits Fulham "vulnerable" to losing top talent

:Headline: Scott Parker admits Fulham 'vulnerable' to losing top talent:
The recently-appointed Fulham boss is targeting an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation.
PA | 8d

Scott Park admits Fulham face a summer-long battle to keep hold of their best players as he plots an immediate return to the Premier League.

Relegation to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed on April 2 as a season that began with a £100million-plus recruitment drive ended in a 4-0 drubbing by Newcastle at Craven Cottage.

Among the stars sought by other clubs will be Aleksander Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Ryan Babel and Parker wants to prevent as many as possible from leaving.

"When you're relegated you'll always be vulnerable to losing your best players. We will be no different," said Parker, who was named permanent boss last week.

"In saying that, the owners are committed to this team and have invested a lot of money into this team.

"I have no doubt they will be doing everything in their power to keep the best talent and best players so that gives us an opportunity next year.

"Of course I'd love Ryan Sessegnon to be at the club. Ryan fits into the bracket of a few others we want to keep. It's going to be a busy summer of rebuilding and us trying to keep hold of players.

"Harvey Elliot is definitely someone I believe in. In his 20 minutes against Newcastle you could see the talent he's got.

"He's a 16-year-old boy who is doing his GCSEs next week. He showed a lot of confidence."

A successful transfer window is just one of Parker's objectives this summer as he looks to make the changes that he insists are essential if Fulham are to recover from a dismal season.

"This season has given us a clear idea of what needs to be done at the football club," Parker said.

"This club needs a culture and an identity. We need those foundations for us to be successful. That's what we're going to do. There's a big challenge ahead.

"If we drive up standards and build culture, I suspect we'll have very successful seasons ahead.

"Standards at the football club need to go up and they need to rise across every department. It's possible to come back up next season.

"We know the league we are going into is very difficult. There are established Premier League teams in it who are struggling in mid-table.

"We understand the demands. But I've realised the only way we'll be successful is by building the foundations and establishing the culture. It's a big year ahead for us."

Jonjo Shelvey began the rout with a brilliant opener from outside the box, firing his first goal in over a year.

The midfielder's season has been interrupted by a thigh injury and he admits a challenging period could result in his future lying outside of St James' Park.

"I needed to put in a performance to get people talking back about me either at Newcastle – or away from Newcastle," Shelvey told NUFC TV.

"At least I've finished with a good performance and a goal. I'll enjoy the summer and see what the summer brings now. To be fair, I'm glad to see the back of this season."



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CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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