Fulham manager search continues

Defender Stephen Kelly maintains Fulham must not be happy to just stand still under their new manager - with both Ottmar Hitzfeld and American Bob Bradley now in the frame to take charge at Craven Cottage.

The west-London club continue to search for Roy Hodgson's successor following his departure to Liverpool.

Pre-season training is now well under way, but as yet no announcement has been made on who will take charge for the opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season at Bolton on August 14.

In the meantime, Ray Lewington has been preparing the squad for the friendly against Brentford at Griffin Park tomorrow night and they then head to Bournemouth.

It remains to be seen whether a new manager will be in place by the time Fulham jet out to Sweden on Monday where they will play games against Halmstad and Malmo, two of Hodgson's former clubs.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, who has just left his post in charge of Ivory Coast after the World Cup, was thought to be the frontrunner, but salary demands could scupper any deal with the former England manager, while Croatian Slaven Bilic and ex-Manchester City boss Mark Hughes are also said to have been on a shortlist.

However, it has now emerged Fulham may be ready to move for Bradley, whose own future with the United States national team is unsure despite taking the Americans into the last 16 at the World Cup ahead of England as group winners, while respected German Hitzfeld, who masterminded Switzerland's victory over eventual winners Spain in South Africa and has twice claimed the Champions League, is reported to have already met with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh over a potential move to the Premier League.

No matter who eventually takes charge, they will have a tough act to follow after Hodgson performed wonders during his time at Craven Cottage, retaining Fulham's top-flight status before going on to reach the Europa League final last season.

Kelly insists Fulham must not rest on their laurels and look to make an impact on the top half of the table.

"It would have been nice for Roy to stay and continue the good work, but everybody is now looking forward to a new manager coming in," the Republic of Ireland international said.

"It will be a fresh start and hopefully when someone comes in they can continue with the progress we have made over the last two years."

Kelly is looking forward to the trip to Scandinavia and some time for team bonding.

"We will be away from everything and you get the group together and do everything you need to do to get your fitness up to scratch for the new season," Kelly added on www.fulhamfc.com.

Fulham have already signed defender Philippe Senderos from Arsenal, but goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer continues to be linked with a switch the other way.

American forward Clint Dempsey is reported to be wanted by AC Milan after impressing at the World Cup, but that could change should Bradley become his new club boss.

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