Scott Parker played in derby matches between Fulham and Chelsea (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Scott Parker played in derby matches between Fulham and Chelsea (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Scott Parker is relishing the challenge of facing the Premier League’s top clubs as he prepares for a daunting introduction to management with Fulham.

Caretaker boss Parker begins his tenure at home to west London rivals Chelsea on Sunday after replacing the sacked Claudio Ranieri.

The 19th-placed Cottagers, who are 10 points from safety and facing an immediate return to the Championship, are also due to host title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City before the end of the month.

“This was a team that went through a hard season in the Championship for these moments,” said Parker.

“OK, it’s a tough ask, but I know sitting in this position I’m relishing this opportunity of playing against these top teams, top players and top coaches.

“And I know the players will be as well. I’m looking forward to it massively.”

Having represented five different London clubs during his playing career, Parker has plenty of experience of derby matches in the capital.

The former England midfielder spent the 2004-05 season at Stamford Bridge and represented both Chelsea and Fulham in this fixture.

While he has not given up hope of masterminding an improbable great escape with only 10 games remaining, his main objective this weekend is to restore the faith of the club’s disgruntled supporters.

“I understand what is at stake and that it’s a London derby against a very, very good football team,” he said.

“In that sense it’s probably not going to be different, what probably will be is you’re standing on the outside hoping your 11 players on the field can transmit what you’ve put into them and sometimes you’re powerless in that sense.

“I want to give the players a real clear idea of what I expect, what the club expect and what the fans expect.

“The most important thing is to make sure the 25,000 fans clap them knowing they gave everything.”

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