View From The Town End - Fulham

As usual we've sailed the high seas of the world wide web to bring you an opposition outlook on our next game and I'm delighted to say that Kristian Balkin from fellow SB Nation site Cottagers Confidential has given us some of his thoughts on tomorrow's game.

How have you viewed Fulham's season so far?

It's been pretty good by all accounts. Perhaps transfer deadline day was somewhat disappointing - leaving us tremendously short in central midfield but, in truth, we've handled things well and with Dimitar Berbatov leading the line we're certainly not short of class. I think it's still clear, after a dreadful first half at Southampton, that our away form needs to be rectified - you'll be glad to hear - but other than that, it's been a brilliant start to the season. And long may it continue.

We managed to swipe Pavel Pogrebnyak from you in the summer but he hasn't quite hit the same heights for Reading so far as he did at Craven Cottage. What were your views of him at Fulham and what's the best way for Reading to get goals from him?

It was clear that, after scoring six goals in his opening few games, he was a top footballer but, in spite of that, I personally wasn't disappointed to see him go. This isn't just sour grapes or anything, he's just not the same striker that, perhaps, his record with us suggested. We deployed him, invariably, in the same role in which Bobby Zamora flourished, so, using his physical presence to hold the ball up and deploying him as something of a target man. Perhaps you'd be better doing something like that with him but, then again, I'm not sure if it'd suit your style of play.

Fulham's original rise through the leagues was done largely through the investment of one former Harrods owner. Do you feel the club is now fully established for the long term or are there lingering concerns about the long-term future of the club?

I would say we're quite content with Mohammed Al Fayed's ownership and what seems most likely is that, after he goes, his son will take over. Obviously, like any club that has relied on investment for success, there is that worry that the money will just dry up and leave you exposed but Al Fayed is different - a foreign investor that has a genuine affection for the club and would hate to see it in the same sort of state it was in when he bought it. So, no, there are no long term worries.

What are your best memories of Reading v Fulham?

2008. I'm sorry but, there's little more to say than that. It was wonderful for us but it was probably heartbreaking for you.

And the worst?

I think you did the double over us in the 2006/07 season - though correct me if I'm wrong - and that's never a good thing. And, before that, I don't think we've met you since 1999 and, to be perfectly honest, I was too much of a wee small lad to remember that.

Anyone Reading fans should particularly worry about on Saturday?

I think you've obviously got to be aware of Berbatov but, aside from the obvious, Alex Kacaniklic is hot property right now after proving, at only 21, that he can cut it on the international stage with Sweden. On the other wing is usually Damien Duff but pressing for his place is new signing Ashkan Dejagah and, if his cameo against Aston Villa is anything to go by, he's going to be a top player for us.

Anyone Fulham fans are worried about?

Obviously we know what Pogrebnyak can do when he's on song but, aside from him, I like your lad Jimmy Kebe and I've always rated Chris Gunter. Jobi McAnuff is a good, solid midfielder too, who I think can cause us problems.

Score prediction.

Reading 1-2 Fulham.

Thanks again to Kristian and you can follow the CC guys on Twitter @CottagersC

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