Fulham captain Danny Murphy has urged his team-mates to keep their fighting spirit alive as they face a tough visit to bitter London rivals Chelsea and a trip to Newcastle.
Fulham were trailing to a Marc Albrighton first-half goal against Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on Saturday before Brede Hangeland headed home Murphy’s well-placed free-kick in the final seconds of added time.
Fulham’s never-say-die attitude earned them a vital point and now Murphy wants his team-mates to show the same passion and commitment against Chelsea on Wednesday and Newcastle next weekend.
“It wasn’t one of our better days at the office,” said Murphy, “In the first half we had a few chances but didn’t convert them. Villa grew in stature, obviously got the goal, and when you concede at home to anyone in the Barclays Premier League you give yourself a mountain to climb.
“We did show good spirit, but we know we have to improve. Sometimes when you have played well and won as comfortably as we did last week, you go into the next game a bit complacent and I thought that happened, but we can’t let that happen again because in the Premier League you get punished.
“We might have to be a bit more defence-minded against a team like Chelsea because they have such quality.
“So we’ll have to be well organised, make sure we’ve got good shape and discipline and work really hard to keep a clean sheet.
“We know we’re going to be under the cosh for long periods but of course we must try and cause a threat at the same time.
“We know it’s a big derby and it’s about time we got something there. We were close last year. It’s something the players are looking forward to.
“We’re backs-to-the-walls at the minute, so we need to remember we’ve got a good squad and a good spirit and we’ll go to Chelsea and Newcastle and give it everything because we need more points on the board. We’ve got to show our fighting spirit for the fans.”