sport

Magath plans player talks

Felix Magath will hold talks with Fulham's senior players next week as he starts to shape a squad for next season.

The German insists he is excited by the challenge of starting from scratch in the Championship with a squad of his own choosing, and his plan is to "make our younger players the basis of the future".

But Magath knows a blend of youth and experience is required, and once Sunday's home game against Crystal Palace is out of the way he will sit down with the club's more established players to determine who stays and who goes.

"I take care of the younger players but if you want to build a team you can't only have young players," said Magath, who has the likes of Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell and John Arne Riise in his squad.

"For me, (discussing players' futures) was not on the agenda until last weekend because it was more important to think about the end of the season.

"Now we have to speak to the players who want to stay and have contracts. We have to find out which ones will be here and which ones will leave us and we will start that in the next few days."

Magath last week said relegation was worse than losing in a World Cup final, something he did twice as a player with West Germany, but there was never any serious suggestion he would leave the club after just three months.

He said: "There is excitement, because that is what I stand for and what I like - building a team, working with young players.

"That is what I have discussed with our owner - trying to make Fulham a club that can play a big role in the Premier League rather than just in the relegation fight. It's a nice challenge."