Tottenham attack ‘exquisite’ as Parker hails ‘match-winner’ Bale


ulham boss Scott Parker is relishing the challenge against an “exquisite” Tottenham attack in an all-London affair at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.

The capital rivals go head to head in a key clash as Fulham – unbeaten in their last five matches – look to secure a valuable win that would haul them out of the Premier League’s relegation zone for the first time since mid-December.

Meanwhile, eighth-placed Tottenham will look to build on their Gareth Bale-inspired demolition of Burnley and temporarily close the six-point gap to the top four, with Liverpool also in action against Chelsea at Anfield and Everton travelling to struggling West Brom.

Despite battling Fulham’s clear defensive improvements that have seen them concede just once in matches against Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Burnley, Everton and West Ham, Parker is only too aware of the elevated test that Spurs’ attacking stars will pose in west London – though he also backs his front players to cause issues for an oft-maligned Jose Mourinho backline.

“We are playing against probably the best number nine in the world in Harry Kane, then with Son (Heung-min) and Bale, it is a front-half team which is exquisite really,” he said.

“They are unbelievable players with unbelievable talent, (up) along with the best in the league, with Liverpool and Man City.

“We have done very, very well of late, but defensively we are going to be put to the test on Thursday night, no two ways about it, because of the quality we are coming up against.

“I am relishing it and so are the players. Hopefully we can come out like we have done favourably over the last few games.

“I feel with the way we play on the front foot, trying to attack teams, to score goals, trying to be dominant in the moments, I would like to think we can cause Spurs problems as well.”

Parker is particularly wary of the qualities possessed by Bale, who has been in resurgent form of late after struggling in the aftermath of his return to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid last summer.

The Welshman notched an excellent brace against Burnley to add to his superb goals in both Europa League last-32 ties against Austrian minnows Wolfsberger and impactful cameo off the bench in the narrow defeat by West Ham.

Parker had a front-row seat for Bale’s explosive best days at Spurs, with the duo having been team-mates for two years before leaving for Fulham and Madrid respectively in 2013.

“Gareth was a match-winner,” Parker recalled.

“That season he was scoring goals, winning matches, he was just a fantastic football player which the team revolved around.

“You don’t have many players that the team revolve around, but certainly that year for us, it was Gareth.

“When you needed a goal, he was the guy who popped up to win you games. He was fantastic that season.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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