Fulham boss Chris Coleman has warned Chelsea he will send his players into Saturday’s derby believing they can repeat last season’s heroics against the champions.
Jose Mourinho’s side were humbled 1-0 in a fiery contest at Craven Cottage that ended Fulham’s 27-year wait for victory over their west London rivals.
A lengthy injury list ensures Fulham are even bigger underdogs this time around but Coleman will have his troops fired-up for battle – with victory proving “massive psychologically”.
“We’re not going to get into Saturday’s game thinking we’ll get a hiding. We want to get something out of this,” he said.
“It’s a derby and they’re the champions. We have to have the belief we can take something from the game.
“It was a sweet victory because we hadn’t beaten Chelsea for years. The way we beat them was pleasing as well.
“It was a great atmosphere – the best I’d seen for 10 years. It was a great feeling and there will be a full house.
“We have a depleted squad but I’m still looking forward to it. The players are looking forward to it.
“A result for us against Chelsea would be massive psychologically.”
Luis Boa Morte secured all three points against Chelsea with his first-half winner but it was an afternoon of high drama at Craven Cottage.
Didier Drogba had a goal disallowed for handball, Moritz Volz saw a penalty turned down and William Gallas was sent off for a rash challenge on Heidar Helguson.
The fireworks continued after the match too with fans from both clubs spilling on to the pitch and engaging in small-scale scuffles and Fulham were charged by the Football Association as a result.
It was a memorable day for Cottagers fans and Coleman insists he sensed an upset was on the cards as his side sought to end a four-match losing run that included 14 goals conceded.
“We entered the game on the back of a few defeats and had leaked a lot of goals. There was a great deal of negativity surrounding me and the team.
“But I thought that game couldn’t have come at a better time. Some people thought it would be 5-0 but I didn’t think we’d lose.
“I’m not saying I thought we’d win, but I didn’t think we’d lose – I expected a reaction. There seemed to be an atmosphere as soon as I arrived at the ground in the morning.
“You could sense everybody was pulling together. As soon as the lads were on the pitch I thought ‘we won’t lose this game.”‘