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Fulham defender Timothy Castagne happy at Fulham

last updated Sunday 02nd June 2024, 9:01 AM

Fulham Football Club

FulhamDefender Timothy Castagne
Fulham Defender
Timothy Castagne
Timothy Castagne
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Fulham defender Timothy Castagne has already proven an excellent signing by Fulham and is excited for what is to come after a fine first season at Craven Cottage.

“It’s always a lot better in London, of course,” the Belgian right-back says, with half a smirk.

As has been the case with so many signings Fulham have made over the last two years, including Joao Palhinha, manager Marco Silva was instrumental in convincing the club and the player that the move was right.

“We spoke quite a lot on the phone,” says Castagne, who was also wanted by Juventus. “Then it took a long time for me to come, which was a bit frustrating because I was waiting for the move and just training at Leicester.

“I liked what [Silva] said, what his ideas were. I took a few days to think about it with my wife and we knew what we wanted to do. I wanted to join. My first season has been great. I’ve felt at home straight away. I think I was very consistent.”

Castagne played in all but one of Fulham’s 34 league games since his £15million signing from the Foxes, immediately ousting Kenny Tete as first-choice right-back.

He continued: “I’ve helped more with assists and scoring [since January], but I know I can do more. If I can do better, we can go higher in the table.”

Castagne — who was briefly coached during his youth career by the father of Fulham team-mate Andreas Pereira — admits “sometimes it is not easy” to find chemistry with the wingers ahead of him.

“One game you’re with Bobby [De Cordova-Reid], then one with Alex [Iwobi], or H [Harry Wilson] or Adama [Traore]. Each brings something different, so the more I play with them the more I understand them.

“At full-back, you now have [to have] a lot of great offensive output but maybe a bit less defensive stuff. But in this system, you have to be able to do both. I’m able to do both, and [so are] Jedi [left-back Antonee Robinson] or Kenny Tete.”

Fulham finished 10th as a newly promoted side last season. Two wins from their last nine games killed hopes of another top-half finish this term; they settled instead for 13th.

“The end of the season, we didn’t play good enough,” Castagne says. “Before Sheffield [United] and Nottingham Forest, we were looking at maybe eighth position.

“Then you get one point out of six and we didn’t recover from that; it went a bit downhill.

“Definitely a big improvement, but there’s no point in having a great season and then not getting results in the last five, six or seven games and basically just losing the objective. That’s what we’ll try to do better next season: have the same season but just finish better. We’ll see what happens.”

Before that, Castagne’s attention pivots to Euro 2024. He hopes to fare better than at Euro 2020, when his tournament lasted just 27 minutes before a fractured eye socket in Belgium’s opener against Russia saw him miss the rest of their run to the quarter-finals.

“It was a big disappointment, my first Euros. I want to come back and have a good one this time,” he insists.

“Also, [there is] extra motivation after the World Cup, that we went out like that [in the group stage]. We have a young team with a lot of motivation, and that can go both ways.”

Source Dom Smith at London Evening standard
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