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Chris Smalling says he’s gaining confidence from his festive run in the Fulham first team and was delighted to help the Whites reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The young centre back was the standout performer as Fulham beat Swindon 1-0 this afternoon and his display was all the more impressive after his unfortunate own goal proved to be decisive at Chelsea on Monday. The England under-21 international says he feels confident that he’ll be able to fill in for the injured Brede Hangeland for as long as is neccessary.

I’ve really enjoyed the games I’ve played in. It’s great when you’ve got a manager of the calibre of Roy showing faith in you and if I can step in and do half the job Brede’s been doing, I’ll be more than happy.

It’s been one of those stories of a meteoric rise. I’ve got my chance now and hopefully I can go from strength to strength.

I think the treatment’s going well and I don’t think it’s going to be a long-term thing. Hopefully I’ll be ready should I need to play the next game.

Smalling’s team-mate, Norwegian winger Bjorn-Helge Riise, was impressed with his performance.

The last two games, I think he has been magnificent. Especially the Chelsea game, when I thought he was brilliant.

He has to take the chances he gets. He got that against Chelsea and he proved that he’s good enough. He’s confident and when you play against Drogba and you play that good, you are going to get confidence.