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Parker disappointed as Aina, three other Nigerians relegate with Fulham


Parker Fulham Maja Adarabioyo Lookman Aina

Nigeria internationals, Ola Aina and Josh Maja, have relegated with Fulham from the Premier League on Monday night after the club fell to a 2-0 defeat against Burnley at the Craven Cottage.

Tosin Adarabioyo and Ademola Lookman (of Nigerian descents) also joined the train back to the Championship as Fulham suffered their second relegation from the EPL in three years.

The first demotion was under Parker in the 2018/19 campaign after taking over the Cottagers’ which were destined for the drop under Claudio Ranieri.

Having led his former club back to the Premier League for the first time last August, Parker’s return to the Championship in his first full season as a top-flight manager was confirmed after last night’s defeat.

Reacting to the development, Parker told Sky Sports: “I’m hurt, I’m gutted. This has been looming us, we’ve flirted with it for a long time, there are no words that I can say other than I am gutted we have not been successful this year. Staying in this division was a success for us, we knew it was always going to be a challenge, but it is bitterly disappointing not to do that.

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“That game probably sums up our season. In between both boxes this year we’ve had our moments and looked a good side, but where we have fallen short is the other side of that. Tonight, defensively, the two goals are poor goals, and when we got the ball in the area in those clinical moments where you need the final details and criticalness, we fell short.

“While we have had progression, we have fallen short at this level. There is no denying that, that is why we have been relegated. We need to work out what we need to do to improve that, not just as players and a team but as a football club. We’ve had a relegation, promotion, and relegation. After the highs and lows of that journey, we need to find how we can keep a level about us. That is the next task.

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“The performance levels have been there, the fine margins and gulf in class in this division are so small. We’ve been so close at times but yet so far. Over the last five or six games, we’ve just fallen short. We need to work out very quickly as football club where we went wrong this year.

“We’re on a rollercoaster – relegation, promotion, relegation – now is not the time to talk about it, but we certainly need to make some big decisions, we need to understand what we need to do and where we need to improve, and transfers are definitely going to be an area we look at,” he said.

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When asked if he had the desire to bring Fulham back to the Premier League, he said: “It’s not a conversation for tonight. We’ve got three games left and my job is to get this team to finish the season in the right way.

“After that the discussion we have as a football club for what we need to do to improve will speak for itself.

“We’ll make those decisions as a football club and we’ll have those discussions. They happen at all good football clubs. We have to be honest and very brutal in terms of what happened this year.”