Chris Coleman has called on his Fulham side to show “self-belief” and give Barclays Premiership champions Chelsea a run for their money in Saturday’s west London derby.
The Cottagers picked up another valuable away point when they netted a stoppage-time equaliser at Charlton last night to deny new Addicks boss Alan Pardew a perfect start.
Although the goal from Franck Queudrue came following the award of a controversial free-kick, a draw was hardly an injustice given the amount of pressure Coleman’s side had produced during the second half.
The Welshman, however, knows his men must be at their very best to get anything at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Coleman said: “We have got a chance 11 versus 11 – but their home record is as good as any of the top sides in Europe.
“We know it is going to be tough, but this season we have beaten Arsenal, although we have lost to some of the bottom sides as well.
“What is most important for me is that we have to compete over 90 minutes – that is all I can ask for going into this game.
“If we go in with self-belief and our sleeves rolled up, anything can happen.”
Coleman added: “(Manchester United boss) Sir Alex Ferguson has come out and said that both United and Chelsea will drop more points – and they will.
“It is possible they could drop points to us in this game, we know that.”
The Fulham manager feels his team can learn a lesson from Reading’s creditable performance at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, but also knows they could face a backlash.
He said: “Chelsea’s draw against Reading could work both ways.
“Either, the longer it goes on and we are still in the game, they will get nervous, or they will come out and try to put right what went wrong against Reading.”