MX23RW : Wednesday, August 12 20:11:20| >> :60:1254:1254:
Aug 4, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Wembley Stadium
BrentfordBrentford
1-2
FulhamFulham
Dalsgaard (120+4')
Jensen (88'), Norgaard (103')
FT
(aet)
Bryan (105', 117')
Reed (29'), Cairney (67'), Hector (98'), Knockaert (102'), Mitrovic (104'), Cavaleiro (120+2'), Rodak (120+4')

Michael Hector determined to help Fulham reach Premier League

Michael Hector determined to help Fulham reach Premier League
© Reuters
The Jamaica defender has played in the German Cup final and an FA Cup semi-final, but never in the top flight of English football.

Fulham defender Michael Hector hopes to fulfil his Premier League dream as he finishes his topsy-turvy season with a Wembley play-off final.

Hector missed the first half of the season as his £8million move from Chelsea came a few days after the summer transfer window.

But the Jamaica international feels that break benefited him – and Fulham – in the long run as he got to know his new team-mates on the training ground and in meeting rooms before entering the heat of Sky Bet Championship battle.

Hector has since been a stand-out player as Fulham have progressed to a Wembley date against London rivals Brentford on Tuesday.

"It was a strange time not signing in the summer window," said Hector, who Fulham fans have compared to Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk and christened 'Virgil Van Mike'.

"But training with the team from September to January helped me settle in.

"Before I've been in (situations) where I've had to go straight into the team and not found out players' strengths and weaknesses.

Newcastle United v Liverpool – Premier League – St James' Park
Fulham fans have compared Michael Hector to Liverpool colossus Virgil Van Dijk (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

"But I was able to going to team meetings when I wasn't playing and that helped me find out about my team-mates.

"I was watching what they were doing in games and watching the games back with them. I felt when I did come in I could help them with certain aspects of the game, whether that was talking a bit more or making tackles."

Hector has had a curious career with no fewer than 10 loan spells after starting out at Reading and signing for Chelsea in 2015.

Aldershot, Barnet and Shrewsbury may be unglamorous stops, but there have been high points along the way.

There was a play-off goal for Cheltenham and an FA Cup semi-final appearance for Reading against Arsenal at Wembley.

And for Eintracht Frankfurt there was a German Cup final appearance in 2017 and the task of keeping Christian Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet in a game Borussia Dortmund won 2-1.

"I loved it, the atmosphere was crazy," Hector said.

"But it's about playing the game, because sometimes people can get caught up in the occasion and get lost in it.

Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool – UEFA Europa League – Quarter Final – First Leg – Signal Iduna Park
Michael Hector marked Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 2017 German Cup final while on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt (Adam Davy/PA)

"You don't really take it in. If you do take it in, that's when it hits you.

"Don't play the occasion and that's when you play well. But when I look back at it, then it was special moments playing at Wembley and Berlin."

Hector joined Chelsea for £4m in 2015 but failed to break through at Stamford Bridge.

As well as Eintracht, he was loaned out to Reading, Hull and Sheffield Wednesday before making the short journey across west London.

"All my loans were learning curves," Hector said.

"I learned the hard way with certain mistakes, but it's all part of the game and I've become a better player for it.

"I've not played in the Premier League – it wasn't to be at Chelsea, the team I supported and signed for – and it would be a dream to do that.

"Growing up you strive to do that and we're just 90 minutes away."

Brentford finished above Scott Parker's Fulham on goal difference to take third spot.

The Bees also claimed a Championship double over Fulham, including a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage when football resumed after the coronavirus lockdown in June.

"Brentford are a high-scoring team and you have to respect that," Hector said.

"But we go into the game full of confidence. With the team we have, we back ourselves to beat anyone on the day."

ID:408780:

Click here for more stories about Michael Hector

Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Brentford's David Raya pictured in February 2020
Read Next:
David Raya: 'Brentford have already proven their Premier League credentials'
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.
Read more about Michael Hector Football

rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham391010195063-1340
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!