Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney has said the players want caretaker boss Scott Parker to be given the job on a permanent basis, after the Cottagers' improved performance in the defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.
Parker was appointed to replace Claudio Ranieri until the end of the season, after the Italian was dismissed with Fulham ten points adrift of safety, and was thrown straight in at the deep end as he was faced with the visit of their London neighbours in his first game in charge.
Though Fulham narrowly lost out by two goals to one, their performance was widely thought to have been one of their best of the season, featuring a level of fight and desire not seen under Ranieri or his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic in the Premier League.
Cairney, who was restored to his preferred central midfield role under Ranieri's former assistant, says Parker is the players' choice going forward.
“If that is what he can do in a few days I wonder what he could do in six months, eight months?" club captain Cairney told the Evening Standard. “I would like to see him given a chance.
"I speak on behalf of everyone, he is so highly regarded at the club. He has been immense.
“He is a young English manager as well. It's good to see Frank Lampard and John Terry in football and he is in that bracket. When he was a player in my first season here, we were struggling in the Championship and he played a massive part in keeping us up.
“I think we got a bit of pride back. Everything on the whole had a better feel about it.”
If Parker can somehow inspire a miraculous escape from the relegation zone with only nine matches remaining, then he will surely be given the job in the summer.
Such is the difficulty of the situation he has assumed charge of, however, even if they do drop back into the Championship at the first time of asking, the former England midfielder is thought to be one of the front-runners to take over nonetheless.