Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is convinced his side have enough quality to survive the drop from the Premier League for a second successive season.
Fulham were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday and, but for a healthy dose of luck, would have gone down to a fourth successive league defeat.
But Hodgson believes his squad is better than it was last season and feels there is no need to panic despite remaining 17th in the table.
“I’ll just have to rely on the cliche that it’s seven games into the season,” he told the club’s official website.
“I know that the mass media has to have champions and relegation teams after a few games, but we’ve got to make certain that we don’t fall into the trap of panicking when we’re down at the bottom after a few games – or getting the champagne out if we’re near the top after a few games.
“I think a lot will change in this league and I think quality will count.
“Both we and Sunderland have now got teams that are better and have more chance of staying in the Premier League than last year.”
Fulham have struggled to score goals lately despite investing in Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora in the summer, but Hodgson is confident that their luck will change soon.
“It’s not for want of trying or creating goal chances,” he said.
“You’re more concerned when you’re not scoring goals and you’re not even posing a threat to the opposing defence. I’d like to think that certainly wasn’t the case against Sunderland and I don’t think that’s been the case in the other games.
“With the type of players we now have in our team and the armoury we have in terms of being capable of scoring, these goals will come.”