Premier league news Hector opens up on leaving Chelsea for Fulham, 15 loans and Premier League dream Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - The centre back is one win from being a top-flight player after a difficult season and nomadic existence before finding his home in a different corner of West London
Breaking News ! Michael Hector has had to bide his time. The 28-year-old centre back joined Fulham from Chelsea in September but was not allowed to play until his registration received clearance in January. Then, as the Jamaica international who has had 15 loan moves in a nomadic career began to hit his stride at a club that he could finally call home, coronavirus shut everything down for three months. Now his moment has potentially arrived: Tuesday's play-off final against Brentford at Wembley offering the East Londoner a shot at finally reaching the Premier League. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in8Cancel Play now From Horsham to Eintracht Frankfurt, via Dundalk and Didcot, Hector has worked hard during every temporary stay and maintained an arguably unrivalled patience but the weight of expectation and pressure of his dream being one win from realisation does not seem to weigh too heavily. He is speaking to a small number of reporters the morning after Fulham scraped past Cardiff City on 3-2 aggregate and seems remarkably level-headed considering the context. There are no grand statements about his elongated journey towards the Premier League, though the past has undoubtedly shaped him. Instead Hector is very much living in the present having become one of the most important players in Scott Parker's squad. Fulham have kept clean sheets in 11 of Hector's 24 appearances, his coolness and efficiency shoring up a leaky defence that had threatened to underwrite the squad's attacking value. No wonder he has been given the nickname "Virgil van Mike" by Fulham fans, a moniker now used frequently inside the dressing room. "It’s a bit of banter with the fans," Hector says. "They have just been happy with my performances since I came in. "Virgil [van Dijk] is one of the best centre halves in the world so to be tarnished with that kind of player is great. Obviously, I’m my own player but it’s a positive — it’s nice, but I try to be my own man." Yet, perhaps too modestly, Hector says that there were doubts over whether he could even get into the starting XI once eligible in January. He had been training with the squad since September but any footballer will tell you that it is impossible to match the intensity without being involved in competitive action. "Obviously I was in the meetings," he tells football.london. "I wasn't playing but I was still going to team meetings to see what they were doing in games, watching games back and stuff like that. I felt that when I did come back I felt I could help them in certain aspects of the game, whether talking a bit more or making tackles — things like that. "For me it's about the quality of players we have — it's frightening at times.
. I had to work hard and it was basically doing my best to keep my place in the team. I've done that so far." And more. Hector has been ever present since his debut in an FA Cup win over Aston Villa on January 4 and Fulham's record speaks for itself. Half of his 22 Championship appearances ended in shut-outs with 20 goals conceded. Before his introduction, Fulham shipped 30 in 26. And there have been a cluster of goal-saving moments such as the last-ditch challenge to deny Robert Glatzel in the first leg against Cardiff last Monday. How much of that form is down to being at a permanent home, the assurance of a more than fleeting future with one squad fuelling his confidence? "Every loan club I have been at I have taken as my parent club," he says. "I have never given less than 100 percent wherever I have gone and I have become a supporter of the club. I have always wanted to do well for the club and staying another year was always the plan. "But for me I have found my home now at Fulham. I am from London, my family is from London and I do feel at home here. "It’s a slightly different feeling from Reading, where I was signed, because I’m older, I know the game a bit more and the staff here all support me very well, so yes, I do feel at home."
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Now Hector is one win from coming up against Chelsea, Virgil van Dijk and a host of superstar attackers. His task seems simple but daunting: if he can silence Brentford’s fearsome front three of Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Bryan Mbeumo then Fulham will likely be returning to the top flight at the first time of asking. "It’s a dream," he says. "I’ve not played in the Premier League before, I’ve been close, so it’s a dream. I’ve grown up striving to play in matches like that and now we’re 90 minutes away from being there and that’s what we have been striving for all season. "I would love to play against Chelsea, the team I supported growing up. I signed there and it wasn’t to be but I’ve found a home now at Fulham and I can’t wait for us to play in games like that hopefully next season."
Source = MetiNews.Com