Fulham hires Parker as fulltime manager despite relegation

              Fulham's Ryan Babel, center left, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Cardiff City at Craven Cottage stadium, London, England. Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Steven Paston/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Fulham hired Scott Parker as its fulltime manager on Friday, keeping faith with its former captain even though he failed to keep the team in the Premier League during a three-month interim tenure.

The 38-year-old Parker replaced Claudio Ranieri at Craven Cottage in February but couldn’t spark in upturn in results until after the team’s relegation was confirmed.

Fulham chairman Shahid Khan said Parker “was brave to accept a very difficult challenge” and that “we’ve undeniably become a better football club.”

Khan said Parker is “more than up to the task” of returning Fulham to the top flight at the first attempt.

Fulham has just seven wins from 37 matches this season, and will host Newcastle in its final Premier League match on Sunday.