Scott Parker insists he will not suffer sleepless night before Fulham face City

By Jonathan Veal, PA
PA Media: Sport

Fulham boss Scott Parker says he will not endure a sleepless night on Saturday even though Manchester City are now prioritising the cup competitions this season.

Parker takes the Cottagers to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday for their FA Cup fourth-round game against the current holders.

With Liverpool holding a seemingly unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola has said this week that he will be targeting a clean sweep in the three remaining cup competitions his side are in.

That spells bad news for Fulham, who look set to come up against the strongest City side available.

Parker, whose primary target this season is to get his side back into the Premier League, is ready to take the challenge head on.

“I will sleep, I will be fine with that, no worries,” he said.

“When you play against City, as they did to Manchester United after 30 minutes or at Aston Villa recently, against any team they have the capability of putting you to the sword when they want to.

“A difficult task but one we are all relishing.

“It is always daunting, they are a world-class team, there is no doubt about that.

“There have been teams that have gone there and have come away with something, so there is always that little bit of hope that you can look to.

“They have got a lot of games and they are in a lot of competitions.

“Whoever Pep decides to use, you will normally see an international player and a strong team. Nothing changes too much for them.”

With Fulham third in the Championship and hoping to win promotion, Parker reckons this will be a good yardstick as to where his side are and how he is doing as a young manager.

“It’s a big challenge, arguably the greatest manager of our generation,” the former England midfielder added. “For me that is a big challenge, but I put the whole football club in that sense.

“We all have aspirations of being in the Premier League, if it is me coaching or the players coming up against the best, then there is no bigger test for any of us than on Sunday.

“I want us to go there and put on a good account.

“The main message for me to my players is go there with big courage and big heart and determination really.

“You go to places like the Etihad and play teams like Man City and you go there without any real conviction and nine times out of 10 you roll out of there with a loss.

“My main message is to go there with courage, let’s have a belief about it and try and put our stamp on it.”

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