Former Tractor Boy David Stockdale bids to inflict fresh misery on Norwich City
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Fulham keeper David Stockdale insists the Cottagers will go all out to complete a quick double over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The one-time Ipswich loanee enjoyed his Boxing Day visit after a 2-1 Premier League win provided the perfect response to the taunts of the home fans. Stockdale is likely to be on duty again in today’s FA Cup third round return after impressing in the New Year’s Day win over West Ham.
The 28-year-old has had a regular run in the Cottagers’ line-up with first choice Maarten Stekelenburg injured and Stockdale has revealed not even that recent 6-0 league thumping at Hull dented his belief he can be a regular top flight performer.
“We thought it was such a freak result at Hull that we couldn’t dwell on it. If we’d lost 1-0 in the last minute we might have thought about it more. My dad and my mates gave me stick and I think that helps,” said Stockdale. “The head coach said to me, ‘Are you okay?’ I said, ‘I’m fine - I lost 7-1 with Ipswich a couple of years ago’. These results happen in football. As a defence against West Ham we scrapped well, kept a clean sheet in the second half and if you do that you have a chance of winning.
“You can’t think about results too much – we can’t think about West Ham really now as we need to get back on the training pitch ahead of an FA Cup game at Norwich City that we want to win. We’re delighted to get six points out of a possible nine over the festive period. We’ve now got to use these two victories to push on and get up that table.”
Stockdale produced a superb reaction stop in midweek to deny Kevin Nolan a chance to double the Hammers’ lead before the hosts hit back in style to claim vital points through Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov.
“I wouldn’t say my save was pivotal,” he told the club’s official site. “I’d say the second goal was pivotal as it won us the game. I’m just doing my job and if I can keep the lads in the game, then so be it. It’s not until afterwards that you think about it; at the time you just want the three points. We’re in a relegation battle and we won’t get out of it by sitting back and looking at individual performances - we have to play as a team. You saw the character we possess to come from 1-0 down. We had a little bit of help with the sending off but even at 1-0 we had chances to get back into it.”
Fulham chief Rene Meulensteen recently added experienced duo Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins to his backroom staff and Stockdale believes those could prove key appointments in their survival bid. It’s fantastic. If you look at our backroom team there’s so much experience, it’s phenomenal,” he said. “We’ll take over two dugouts if that’s what it takes to get out of the relegation battle. I’ll give them my seat on the bus and I’ll walk – it really does help having those kind of people at the club. You really feel the difference.”