Date: 24th November 2006 at 6:14am
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Fulham boss Chris Coleman feels that as his squad is constantly down to the ‘bare bones’ that this will prevent Fulham from qualifying for Europe through the league.

Coleman, who took over as manager in 2003, has earned many plaudits during his time with the club and, although the team have spent time flirting with relegation during his tenure, they are currently 11th in The Premiership.

And, although he believes his players are good enough to earn a European spot, he feels injuries will inevitably prove too big an obstacle.

“Its not because we can’t do it, the only thing that will stop us doing it over the course of the season is we’ll get more injuries”, he told the League Managers Association website.

“Our squad is not big enough and then we’re down to our bare bones.

We haven’t got enough strength in depth and that’s what takes its toll, but if we can keep 18 to 20 of our first team players all realistically fit and we have a good choice to select from over the course of the season then we’ll be okay.

But it never works like that, we always get injuries like everybody else, but because our squads small it hurts us more than others. That’s why really it’s unrealistic for us to think we’ll be in the top six over the course of 38 games”.

Coleman said that, while his immediate priority is turning Fulham into challengers for Europe, he would eventually like to take charge of a club on the continent.

“Yes, I’d like to manage Fulham first in a European competition, but I�d also like to sample what it’s like managing a European team.

“We have a lot of managers that come to our country and I don’t know why we don’t get a lot of our (British) guys going to other countries.

“The foreign coaches of course may have different ideas to us, but they’re no better than us, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be going to their countries, spreading some of our ideas, and learning from them also.”

“That’s certainly something I’d love to experience in the future.

“If I can get Fulham in a position where we were playing European football, that would definitely be an achievement and is certainly a goal that we have set ourselves.

“When that will be, we don’t know, but it’s a possibility, whether it’s through our league position, a cup final or the Intertoto Cup.

“It would certainly be absolutely fantastic for a club like us to achieve European status.”

 

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