Rene Meulensteen admits he is faced with a ‘massive challenge’ at Fulham after taking over from the sacked Martin Jol.
The club’s billionaire owner Shahid Khan switched one Dutchman with another on Sunday, as Jol departed Craven Cottage after two and a half years in charge to be replaced by a former trusted lieutenant of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fulham will hope some of former Manchester United boss Ferguson’s magic has rubbed off on the 49-year-old, whose experience in management is limited but whose reputation as a coach is among the best.
Khan decided Jol had to go after Saturday’s 3-0 loss at West Ham, a sixth defeat in a row for the Cottagers. Five of those losses have come in the Barclays Premier League, with Fulham consequently plummeting into the relegation zone.
Meulensteen came in only last month to serve as head coach under Jol, and has benefited from seeing where the team’s deficiences lie as he prepares to start work in the top job.
His task is to steer Fulham clear of danger and preserve the top-flight status they have maintained since 2001.
‘It’s a massive challenge,’ Meulensteen told Sky Sports News. ‘But when you’re faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure you get the basic things right.
‘You need to stay mentally strong and make sure the fans are getting behind the team. We need to make sure the players are mentally strong and believe.’
He added: ‘I am confident because of the sort of experiences I’ve had for so many years at Manchester United. ‘I know what is required at the top end of the Premier League.
‘This is a different challenge with different pressure. This is making sure you realise the need to keep three teams below you.
‘Don’t even speak about getting into the top six, top 10, whatever it is.
Source : daily mail