Dickson Etuhu concedes he remains ‘well of the pace’ in terms of match fitness, but is confident of being ready to play a full part in Fulham’s European campaign.

The powerful midfielder only rejoined his teammates on Monday having been granted an extended rest after his summer commitments with Nigeria and played his first pre-season game in the stalemate at Bournemouth on Tuesday night. Etuhu, who says he will return to full sharpness swiftly, hopes to be ready in time to take on FK Vetra next Thursday.

I haven’t done really done anything for a month and have only just got back with the lads so I’m nowhere near there. But it was good to touch a ball again this week. My team-mates are fitter than me at the moment, not doubt about it, but I will get my fitness quickly, I’m lucky like that.

The serious games start again next week, but the way I look at it we have another game before then [at Peterborough on Saturday] and the best part of two weeks to get ready and that should be enough. We’ve got to go out there and do our stuff. It doesn’t matter who we come up against, we’ve just got to make sure we play our game.

Etuhu says the squad are excited about the prospect of European football as the big days draws ever nearer.

We are looking forward to the challenge. We are all excited about playing abroad in Europe. It’s a great achievement to be there and we are not thinking about the demands it will make on us. We just want to take full advantage of where we are and what we have in front of us.

We’ve done well to get there but that’s all in the past now and we’ve got to look forward to try to do better. That’s what the manager keeps telling us.