Scott Parker says his players are determined to keep the pressure up on the top two, just in case they can sneak into the top two before the curtain falls on the regular Championship season.
Friday night’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City at Craven Cottage confirmed that Fulham will be in the play-offs at the very least, but there is still an outside chance of automatic promotion.
There is currently a four-point gap to West Brom, who have a game in hand, but the two sides face a crunch encounter at the Hawthorns on Tuesday night, which may yet offer a lifeline to the Whites – as well as to neighbours Brentford, who are also very much in the mix.
“We need to keep pushing,” said the Fulham boss. “I’m delighted we’ve got to the play-offs. Cardiff were eight points better than us in the Premier League only a year ago and to get to the play-offs like we have and to perform like we have this year, I feel we’ve done very, very well.
“We’ve got a big game now on Tuesday against a team above us – we go there hoping to get a result and keep that pressure going. We’ll work out where we are in the next two or three games and go from there.”
Speaking of the latest win – which made it three clean sheets and four wins in a row, Parker added: “First and foremost, pleased with the result and the win. I think we had to stand up to a challenge that was always going to be there from a strong, physical Cardiff team.
Saying that, there was an element of real quality that shone through at times. We probably would like to have had at times more control but it’s sometimes very difficult when you play a team like Cardiff who constantly put the ball in those [dangerous] areas but 2-0 is probably a fair result.
“I’m Pleased with my team’s resilience.”
It was almost inevitable that one of the two goalscorers should be Aleksandar Mitrovic, back after a three-game ban for elbowing an opponent at Leeds. Fulham won all three games without him, but Parker says everyone was very pleased to welcome him back.
“It’s a big boost,” he said. “He’s integral. He’s vital for us and what we do. He made a big mistake three games ago and had to take his medicine. The team had to step up and go without him and we did that to a man. But we’re pleased to have him back, of course we are.
“It’s a squad game and everybody’s going to be needed in the current climate because of how thick and fast the games come.”