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Sean Davis to be in charge

last updated Monday 11th November 2002, 10:34 AM
Fulham are set to turn to midfielder Sean Davis as the long-term replacement for Chris Coleman as their dressing-room leader.

Jean Tigana's side have been missing a dominant force since the Wales defender and club captain was injured in a car crash in January last year.

Coleman was forced to retire last month and became a Fulham coach, and defender Andy Melville has stood in as captain for his friend since the accident.
Fulham midfielder Sean Davis
Fulham midfielder Sean Davis being groomed for leadership role

Melville has been a great ambassador for the club, but failed to inspire team-mates in the way his predecessor did.

Tigana believes that contributed to Fulham's 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday and he complained that he was missing a leader on the pitch.

The manager was today demanding the whole team contribute to prevent that happening again, but Davis, 23, who is out with a broken toe currently, is earmarked to fill that gap in the long term.

Assistant manager Christian Damiano said: "He has the attitude and character to do this job, but he is a bit too young. If he matures into the player and person he can be, then he could maybe take this role in the future.

"Melville is a good man and the right man but he does not always impose himself enough. We have fantastic players and they are great people but they do not impose themselves enough during games.

"Coleman has a great personality for a leader, and he was able to react on the pitch and give the team direction - and we are missing someone like him."

Fulham have now lost their last four Premiership games and the players were being told today that improvements need to be made quickly.

They play Dinamo Zagreb at Loftus Road on Thursday in a UEFA Cup second-round tie, but they are already 3-0 up from the first leg and their priority is the league.

Damiano added: "We have to be careful because we could get drawn into the fight at the bottom of the Premiership - and we do not want that."
Source Evening Standard by Leo Spall
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