Relief at the Cottage as Mark Schwarzer stays

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Fulham attracted plenty of transfer attention during the Tuesday that the window slowly slammed shut.

While most other clubs were generally all aboard the rumour mill, going wild with who was seen at whose training ground or airport or Motorway café, Fulham centred on Mark Hughes' determination to keep what he had.

He had been active much earlier in the window and completed some good deals to strengthen the squad and it appeared he wasn’t keen on weakening it on the final day, despite some strong approaches.

Sure Paul Konchesky’s move to Anfield went through but that had already been made possible by the arrival of Carlos Salcido in the left back berth.

But it was either Hughes’ determination to not let Mark Schwarzer go, despite some strong performances by David Stockdale – or, as some report, the lack of being able to bring in a suitable replacement in time. Shay Given, Doni and a couple of others were all mentioned during the day as being loan and transfer targets.

But as the hours and minutes ticked away, it became clear Hughes wanted an experienced and reliable keeper between the sticks and the best option available was the one he already had.

So Schwarzer stayed and we can all be delighted with that and hopefully he will accept the situation. I have no doubt that the experienced but possibly slightly disappointed Aussie will just get on with the job.

There were also strong rumours and apparent strong overtures to Fulham regarding Bobby Zamora. And it doesn’t take a genius to guess that Anfield was one of those asking questions especially as Carlton Cole to Liverpool seemed to be one of the more persistent rumours of the day.

The great delight is that the Zamora-Dembele partnership that has started to look like becoming one of the highlights for the season ahead will remain intact.

There was also the strange one of club skipper Danny Murphy being on his way to Ipswich. And, for a brief hour or so, the one that had Hughes himself on his way to Aston Villa.

But, it is actually a very positive position we find ourselves in that we can actually turn down desperate and firm overtures all day long – well on that last final day.

It shows the solid financial position and where the club is viewed as an established Premier League club with a growing and perhaps, just as importantly, stable reputation.

Now we just need those first three points on the board so Mark Hughes can stop walking round with the thought of draws - déjà vu?

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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