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Alain Goma fit and rearing to go

last updated Wednesday 17th October 2001, 8:00 AM
Back from injury and with a second-half substitute appearance against Aston Villa under his belt, centre-half Alain Goma is looking forward to the Ipswich game on Sunday as an opportunity to establish himself back in the side, and also for Fulham to get three valuable points as they look to climb up the Premiership table.

"I played against them last season and they were very good. For a promoted team to come up and do what they did was exceptional. But it doesn't matter who you play in the Premiership; all the games are hard. What's important for us is that we are ready for the challenge because they are going to fight, so we have to be ready
Alain Goma fit and rearing to go
  Alain Goma fit and rearing to go
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to fight as well."

After such an impressive season, winning a UEFA Cup spot by finishing fifth in their first season back in the Premiership, Ipswich are currently suffering something of a hangover, and like Fulham, are finding wins very difficult to come by. Alain does not think the league table gives a true reflection of either team's true worth.

"Compared to last season, Ipswich are not doing so well," he said, "But I think they are still playing with a good spirit even if they're not getting it right technically. So if we want to win, first we have to get it right mentally and then we can get it right on the pitch. We saw last season that Ipswich are a good side, but if we're right then we can be better."

Preparation is obviously a big part of the modern game, not just in getting your own players right, but also in being thoroughly briefed on the opposition.

"It's a very big part of our job," agreed Alain. "The level of detail that we go into is what makes this Club so professional. We spend a lot of time looking at who we are going to play against, so there are no surprises when we go out onto the pitch. We know the skills of the strikers who we are up against and the way they play. Ipswich have some very good players, Marcus Stewart will be difficult opponent if he plays."

It will be a tough game, no doubt, but should the Fulham fans be optimistic?

"Yes, of course. It's now time to start winning the points, and after the disappointing game at Aston Villa, it's important to do well at home. The spirit in the team is very good and we have a lot of confidence. I would say that Fulham will win on Sunday."

A fit again Alain Goma will be a very welcome sight back at the heart of the Fulham defence. Let's hope that it coincides with an equally welcome three points, and the start of the assault on the upper reaches of the Premiership.

Source Fulham Today by Ian McCulloch
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