Fulham’s last top-flight return, in 2018, was marked by a lavish £100million spending spree which failed to keep them in the division.
The Londoners have relied heavily on the loan market this time around, while spending far smaller sums on young players such as Antonee Robinson, Tosin Adarabioyo and Kenny Tete, and Parker believes it is a strategy that will bear fruit whichever league they are in 12 months from now.
“With the business we’ve done, there’s been a real balance about things,” Parker said.
“If this year we weren’t to stay in the division, those [loan] players obviously leave but I think what we’ve done has been very good, the players we’ve signed and brought to the club in Harrison Reed, Tosin, Tete, Antonee Robinson – young, good quality players.
“I just think there was a plan behind it. The money wasn’t there to spend like it was last time and like some other teams are.
“Of course, our aim this year is to stay in this division and we want to give ourselves every opportunity to do that but at the same time we’re also thinking about the long-term future of the team and the squad and the football club and we have to look at that as well.”
Monday night’s win over West Brom, a first of the season, lifted Parker’s men out of the relegation zone and they travel to London rivals West Ham on Saturday night looking to go into the international break on the back of successive victories.
Parker, however, is not getting carried away.
“My main driver has been to try and stay very level,” he added. “I understood where we were last year and what I saw as a failure and a success and it’s the same this year really.
“My experiences as a player and in my short experience asa young manager, I think I understand the ebbs and flows of this season and what it’s going to bring.
“What’s vitally important is that during these moments and times you’ve got to have a levelness about you and understand where you are.”
Parker will check on the fitness of Mario Lemina after he was forced off against the Baggies, while Neeskens Kebano and Ivan Cavaleiro are fit and available but Terence Kongolo and Tete remain out.
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