Kit Symons: Fulham squad settled despite manager search

Kit Symons
Symons was appointed Fulham caretaker manager on 18 September

Fulham caretaker boss Kit Symons says the playing squad have been unaffected by the club's search for a new manager.

Symons has been in charge since the sacking of Felix Magath last month, while chairman Shahid Khan bides his time in making a permanent appointment.

"I get the vibe that they are happy at the moment," he told BBC London 94.9.

"I'm pretty sure it won't be affecting them in any way, shape or form. They are professionals and are getting on with their jobs."

The 43-year-old added: "Having been a footballer myself, as long as the players are getting good training and being set up to succeed in every game they play I think they're reasonably happy.

"They have been brilliant with me. They like the way we do things and the information we give them and they have responded very well.

"The players have been excellent with their application and attitude in training."

Kit Symons and Chris Coleman
Symons took a break from Fulham duty when he linked up again with Wales - and former Whites boss Chris Coleman - for their recent Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Cyprus

Fulham were bottom of the Championship, with one point from their opening seven games, when Symons took over following the dismissal of German Magath.

Symons has won two league games and lost two since taking charge, as well as overcoming Doncaster in the second round of the League Cup.

The Welshman, who has previously spent time as under-18 and under-21 coach at Fulham, declared his interest in taking the role permanently after being appointed caretaker but American billionaire Khan subsequently appointed a five-person panel to help him identify a new manager.

Khan was committed to a thorough search for a new boss, asking former Fulham players Danny Murphy and Brian McBride to assist him, along with ex-Sunderland striker Niall Quinn, academy boss Huw Jennings and season-ticket holder and Nike executive David Daly.

Fulham caretaker manager Kit Symons:
"I've said all along that as much as I want the job, I desperately want the right person to be in charge of Fulham for the long term."

Symons has had contact with Khan and insists it is "business as usual" at Craven Cottage in the meantime.

"I've spoken to the owner on a few occasions and had a couple of conference calls," he said.

"The whole process is a confidential one and I'm not able to comment on the process itself.

"I know it's not going to be a rushed process.

"I've said all along that as much as I want the job - and people are under no illusions about that - I desperately want the right person to be in charge of Fulham for the long term.

"I'm hoping it's me and obviously think it should be me but this panel and the chairman will make the right decision to take the club forward."

Fulham under Kit Symons
Sep 20: L 1-0 v Blackburn (H)Oct 1: W 4-0 v Bolton (H)
Sep 23: W 2-1 v Doncaster (H, LC)Oct 4: L 2-0 v Middlesbrough (A)
Sep 27: L 2-1 v Birmingham (A)Oct 18: v Norwich (H)

Fulham defender Dan Burn and ex-Whites boss Chris Coleman, whom Symons works alongside with the Wales national team, have both backed Symons to get the job full-time.

The club have not issued an official update on their progress, but newspaper reports suggest ex-Norwich manager Chris Hughton has been shortlisted for the role, with former West Brom boss Steve Clarke and ex-West Ham and Watford manager Gianfranco Zola also in the running.

"I've come back and am still sitting in the chair," Symons said.

"The owner is very appreciative of the work that has been going on and he thanked me for the effort.

"I am fully focused on this run of games we have got coming up and it is a busy period."