Fulham captain Danny Murphy says the high-flying Cottagers are still worrying about relegation – after their nerve-wracking experience of last season.
The Cottagers’ fans could be forgiven for targeting European qualification via the league after they pulled eight points clear of the drop zone by beating Bolton 3-1 on Saturday.
This result moved Roy Hodgson’s side up into ninth place with nine games to go but Murphy is taking nothing for granted.
He should know – it was his late goal against Portsmouth on the last day of last season which kept the Cottagers up.
Murphy said: “There has been talk about finishing high in the league, and even about European places.
“However, I am very aware after last season’s dramatic finale that you can easily get dragged back into the relegation battle.
“I don’t think you can ever stop worrying about the fact you can be relegated until you are a long way past the magic 40 points mark.
“We are only one win away from 40 and probably need two wins to be 100 per cent. It is a very positive feeling to be that close and we have to concentrate on carrying on our good performances and moving on and up in the league.”
Among games coming up are successive home clashes against leaders Manchester United and title chasers Liverpool, as well as a West London derby with second-placed Chelsea on 2nd May.
Murphy said “We have to be careful not to get carried away with ourselves, as we were fighting relegation up until the last day last season.
“We are still looking over our shoulder and trying to steer clear of trouble rather than looking ahead and thinking we could really challenge for Europe.
“As far as we are concerned we want to maintain a top-half finish in the Premier League – that would be a fantastic achievement for Fulham and everybody involved in the club.”