Scott Parker is adamant Fulham will be no pushovers this season but he admitted their trip to Leeds on Saturday is likely to offer a better insight into their standing in the Premier League compared with taking on Arsenal.
After Fulham marked their top-flight return with a 3-0 defeat to the Gunners at Craven Cottage last weekend, a philosophical Parker said his side will “lose more than we win” in the next few months.
But Parker insists Fulham will be fighting for every point in their bid to stay in the league ahead of their visit to Elland Road, where two newly-promoted teams will be vying for their first points of the campaign.
Leeds were also beaten in their first Premier League fixture in 16 years although they came from a goal down on three occasions at Liverpool before being finally vanquished 4-3 by the defending champions in the closing stages.
When asked if Saturday afternoon’s clash is a more useful gauge of how they may fare in the division when measured against the loss to Arsenal, Parker replied: “Yeah, definitely.
“(But) saying that, we want to be competitive in those games (too). Every game we go into we want to be competitive and get something out of the game.
“Of course, this weekend we go to another promoted team, a team that won the division last year, very handsomely, who have spent a lot of money to improve the team even more.
“The challenge for us is we want to go in and try and get a result in this game, like we will do every game this year, so we’ll try and do that and plan accordingly to get a result.”
Parker has no new injury concerns but was tight-lipped when asked whether Alphonse Areola, Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson could all make their Premier League debuts after featuring in the Carabao Cup win at Ipswich in midweek.
Parker added: “We will have to see. We got back in the early hours (from Ipswich).
“I’ll make a judgement on where I see the players are physically. With the quick turnaround with pre-season, with players coming late into the building, some are a little short at the moment of where they need to be.
“We’ll see, hopefully we can get some out there as obviously that’ll make us stronger. But I’m not going to take a risk on players and risk long-term injury and risk losing them over a longer period of time.”