Aina hails Fulham Steady Progress

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Danny Welbeck of Brighton and Hove Albion reacts under pressure Ola Aina of Fulham from during the Premier League match between Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion at Craven Cottage on December 16, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Glyn Kirk - Pool/Getty Imaages)

Ola Aina believes Fulham’s unbeaten run is evidence of the progress the team is making this season.

Saturday’s draw with Southampton makes it four without loss, while the Cottagers have now gone 445 minutes without conceding a goal from open play.

“We all know how it was at the beginning of the season, so from that point to now, it just shows the hard work that we’re putting in, as well as the togetherness that we have,” Aina told Fulham Media.

“But I don’t think it’s only the backline you know, it goes throughout the team, it starts from the top.

“If it didn’t start at the top, then the opposition would get more chances on our goal, so the whole team has done well to get us these clean sheets.”

A shift in formation has seen Aina drop a little deeper in recent weeks, but he has settled quickly alongside Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo in central defence.

“Normally I would be playing a bit wider, a bit further up the pitch, but I’ve always said that I’ll put a shift in wherever I’m placed,” Aina stated. “I’m in a back three at the minute and I’m enjoying it, I feel comfortable there.”

That said, he found himself at the other end of the pitch in the dying stages on Boxing Day, and for a second it looked as though his ferocious strike could win the game until Jack Stephens made a crucial block.

Jack Stephens blocks Ola Aina’s shot
It epitomised a match full of ifs, buts, and nearly moments.

“I hit it sweet enough and I think it was going in, but it was a great block from Stephens,” Aina admitted. “It was such a good block that I had to tell him that afterward!

“There were a couple of VAR decisions that went in our favour, but it was just one of those afternoons with a lot of buts and ifs like you said, but it’s good to get the clean sheet and build on from that.

“It’s big for us to be getting clean sheets, it shows we’re working well.”

The Cottagers travel to Turf Moor for a Sunday clash with Burney as they continue their desperate bid to escape the relegation zone by the end of the season.


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