Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez insists he is relishing taking on Arsenal and Liverpool after the Cottagers claimed a vital point in their battle against relegation with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn.
Fulham are still in danger of relegation after West Ham won and Charlton and Sheffield United shared the points in their clash and they will have been relieved to have claimed a draw after Blackburn dominated the second half.
Even Sanchez admitted: ‘We won the first half but they won the second half a little bit better.
‘It’s disappointing we couldn’t get a win but with three games to go we are in a little group of six down at the bottom and we are top of it. That is not so bad.
‘We’ve had just 10 days to prepare what I want here and despite the second half there are a lot of positives. The players know me now and know that if they don’t do what I ask them to do for me then somebody else will be given the chance.’
Sanchez had to haul off centre half Philippe Christanval and rearrange his defence after Benni McCarthy’s 61st-minute equaliser sparked a mountain of Rovers pressure.
Sanchez said: ‘We were getting far too deep and I had to do something like that. Philippe will learn from it.
‘But we’ve played two of the most efficient teams there are in my two games here. Both Reading and Blackburn have learned and prepared their basic trade while Arsenal and Liverpool, who we play next, just do their own thing and it is up to us to match them.
‘I like it best when we are not expected to get anything from games but I think we can give Arsenal problems – although they, I know will give us millions.’
Italian loanee striker Vincenzo Montella, who scored four goals in three games in January, was given his first home Premiership start and claimed a scoring touch on Papa Bouba Diop’s towering header from a corner.
‘It was Montella’s goal,’ confirmed Sanchez afterwards, ‘but the important thing was that the work we did on our set-plays worked. We tried to pressure the ball whenever we could but it is silly to label people long-ball merchants.
‘Glenn Hoddle used to hit 40-yard speciality passes and Steven Gerrard is the modern day version.’