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Chris Coleman knows Fulham will face the toughest test of their recent revival when they face Premiership leaders Chelsea in the west London derby – but they are ready for a battle.

The upbeat Cottagers chief is demanding a continuation of the new-found fighting spirit which sees them chasing a fifth successive victory.

Only a few weeks ago Coleman accused a small, anonymous minority of his players of “coasting” but he has been delighted with their response.

“It is the first time since I have taken charge of this team that we have won four games on the bounce so there’s not much to complain about. Even in games where we’re not playing so well, we’re not giving much away and we keep fighting until the end.”

That attitude resulted in Fulham continuing their winning run to reach the Carling Cup quarter-finals with a 4-2 extra-time away victory over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night after triumphing 4-1 against Newcastle United at St James’ Park last Sunday.

“What we needed was to realise was that you don’t get results by just turning up. We were looking a little bit to what we did last season. But we played well against Tottenham and got a great result against Newcastle.

“You don’t get results like that if you have one or two who are going missing. The last few games I have been delighted with everybody but that has to continue if we are to finish in that top ten again.”

The performance against Forest was Fulham’s best as they were dragged into unwanted extra-time but Coleman said: “We kept fighting and that’s a good sign for us at the moment.”

He is looking forward looking forward to his side pitting their skills and recently-acquired endeavour against Jose Mourinho’s team, which he describes as “quality”, at Craven Cottage.

The young Cottagers boss is making no predictions but his USA international Carlos Bocanegra said: “There’s a spirit in the team that we feel we can win games now. We keep competing until the end and we keep going until the final whistle.

“We’re looking forward to what is going to be a really hard game against Chelsea. Hopefully we can get a point or perhaps, with a bit of luck, steal a win.”

The 25-year-old defender, who puts Fulham’s recent improvement down to “character”, admitted that the performance against Forest was not Fulham’s best.

“But what we did do was show a lot of character, we worked hard and battled, and that eventually got us our win and that’s good for us.

“This run is good for everyone’s confidence and good for team morale. We needed a few of those wins – everyone was starting to get a little down on themselves. But now we’ve had a few good performances,” he said.

Chelsea have rung the changes in their line-up since Bocanegra played against them in the Fulham side which lost 2-1 a Stamford Bridge last season.

But he is relishing the challenge of facing Dutch winger Arjen Robben, one of Mourhino’s new stars.

“We played Holland with the US team earlier this year and Robben was quality,” he said. “He’s just got so much pace. Whoever has responsibility for Robben will have their hands full.

“I’ll be up against either Damien Duff or Robben I guess, and they’re not going to be the easiest two people to mark. But their whole team are solid from front to back, so we’ve just got to go in and make life difficult and basically make it an ugly game for them.

“If we can frustrate them, then maybe we can get a goal on the break. We’ve got so much pace up front with Andy Cole, Luis Boa Morte and Tomasz Radzinski. I hope we can keep this winning streak going and pull something out. It’s a derby so you never know.”