Scott Parker issues Whites warning and makes Cardiff City comparison as Leeds United await Fulham
SCOTT Parker says Leeds United will face a very different Fulham side to the one beaten at Elland Road in Friday's clash at Craven Cottage.
Parker's Cottagers eventually joined Leeds in sealing promotion from the Championship last summer as the Cottagers went up by defeating Brentford in the play-off final.
Fulham then lost five of their first six games upon their Premier League return and were 4-1 down after 57 minutes in their second fixture of the season at Leeds in which Marcelo Bielsa's side recorded a 4-3 victory.
The Londoners eventually bagged their first win at the seventh attempt through a 2-0 success at home to West Brom at the start of November and the Cottagers also won 2-1 at Leicester City at the end of the month but a run of 12 games without a win then followed.
However, eight of those contests ended in draws and Fulham have since won three of their last seven games, only two of which have ended in defeat.
The reversal of fortunes now has the third-bottom Cottagers just two points behind fourth-bottom Newcastle United and Parker says Leeds will see a very different team second time around.
"We're a different team, a different animal this time," aid Parker, as quoted by football.london at his pre-match press conference.
"We've developed over that period and it's a different side. Can we take things from that game and other games?
"Of course we can. We've moved on from where we were."
Assessing what he expected from Leeds and their level of running, Parker reasoned: "They commit a lot of bodies. They've scored a lot of goals, they're right up there in the charts for chances created.
"Bodies in the box, they commit a high volume of bodies and their game is expansive at times.
"While that can cause stress and pressure, there is an opportunity at times you can get at them through transitions.
"You need to be able to withstand the intensity and the numbers they create and that means your structure needs to be good, individually you need to be tuned in on that.
"In the transition there is an opportunity at times that hopefully you can try and exploit."
Asked what it was like to face Leeds - and using a comparison to coming up against Cardiff City last season - Parker admitted: "It's tough, they're a very good side.
"A unique side in the way they play and set up. You don't come across it a lot. We experienced it a couple of times last year with Leeds and Cardiff who play similar ways.
"The intensity with which Leeds play is always one you need to match.
"We understand fully what Leeds bring, their energy and the intensity of the game.
"We're looking forward to the game, it's a good game, big game and we're raring to go."
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Thank you Laura Collins