London (AFP) – Fulham manager Scott Parker has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Tottenham but says his priority is to try and help his current club make an immediate return to the Premier League.
Fulham joined West Brom and Sheffield United in being relegated from the Premier League following a 2-0 loss to Burnley on Monday.
It is the first time that relegation from the division has been resolved with three games remaining.
Parker has been linked with Spurs — who he played for from 2011-13 — due to the crowd-pleasing style Fulham have played since he took over, initially in a caretaker capacity, in 2019.
However, the 40-year-old former England midfielder said he was focused on having his say on where things went wrong and how Fulham can bounce straight back and avoid continuing the “rollercoaster” of relegation, promotion and relegation.
“I’ve been committed since I came here — that’s always been the case,” said Parker, who signed an improved three-year contract last September to keep him at the club until the summer of 2023.
Fulham’s season only got going following the loan signings of Ademola Lookman and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, after the first four games yielded no points.
Those two though could well return to their respective clubs — Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and Chelsea.
However, Fulham will have funds to spend as they will receive £42 million ($60 million) in parachute payments for being relegated.
Parker can take encouragement that two of the three teams relegated last season have made immediate returns — Norwich and Watford — with the third team, Bournemouth, in the play-offs.
“What’s key for me is we sit down, analyse and learn, are brave enough to see where we’ve gone wrong and not go through the same cycle,” said Parker.
“I’ll be the first to put my point across along with all the others to bring this club back into this league and hopefully stay here.”
Parker can point to impressive results against some of the heavyweights.
They recorded away wins at Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton as well as draws at Spurs and Arsenal.
However, they only won five league matches all season and have the second-worst goalscoring record with 25 goals from 35 matches.
Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, one of those who failed to find his form by scoring just three league goals compared to 26 in the promotion season, did not mince his words.
“We have failed this season,” he said.
“It was not good enough. We did not deserve to stay up.
“Overall, we have finished where we deserve to be. We did not show the big character, big mentality and we cracked under the pressure.
“We tried, we fought, we worked hard but we needed more quality on the ball. We got punished today and this season.”
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