Fulham hoping Martin experience will be the driving force to gain promotion

chris martin fulham 2

Fulham striker Chris Martin could complete his journey from villain to hero when his side take on Reading in the Championship play-offs on Saturday.

Martin caused a stir in December when he made himself unavailable for the Cottagers’ clash with the Royals after his parent club Derby tried to cut short his loan spell.

But Fulham dug their heels in and Martin has since scored five goals to help fire them into the top six.

It was confirmed last week that Martin’s loan deal includes the play-offs and manager Slavisa Jokanovic feels the Scot will be a key figure.

“Everyone knows Martin’s situation, he is fully committed with us and is fighting for a space in the team,” said Jokanovic.

“We are confident he can help, and so is he.

“He had a confused situation in the winter but now everything is clear and he is only thinking about his team-mates and Fulham.

“They’re happy with him and we expect he will be ready for these three games. I always had good opinion about him.

“We are not so experienced in this situation, he is one of the most experienced and he can be useful for us in these play-off games.”

Fulham welcome the Royals to Craven Cottage on Saturday evening with the return leg in Reading on Tuesday night.

A Wembley showdown with Sheffield Wednesday or Huddersfield awaits the winners, in a match which last season was reckoned to be worth £170million.

“This is a cup game and its not normal game,” added Jokanovic.

“We must understand the situation and I don’t expect everything will be done after first game, so we must be ready for 180 minutes or more.

“At the end we must play the game and respect this kind of situation.”

Fulham will be without defensive duo Ragnar Sigurdsson and Michael Madl through injury for both legs of the semi-final, but they could be available at Wembley should Fulham get through.