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Mark Schwarzer has already suffered one crushing blow this calendar year, having had his record 88th appearance for the Australian Socceroos soured by defeat against Japan in Saturday’s Asian Cup Final, so the veteran goalkeeper is desperate to avoid another in the form of Fulham being relegated from the Premier League.

That is why, despite the 1-0 win over Newcastle lifting Fulham from 15th to 12th in the table, Schwarzer today warned his team-mates about complacency as they head towards two testing games, at Aston Villa on Saturday and at home against title-chasing Chelsea on Monday week.

The 38-year-old, who came straight back into Fulham’s starting line-up after missing the last six games while on duty with Australia’s national side, said: “It’s always nice to look at the table and see yourself higher. But at this stage of the season it’s all about picking up points, not where you are in the table from week to week.

“The sooner we get to 40 points, the sooner we can turn our attention to what position we’re in.”

Schwarzer left for the Asian Cup in Qatar immediately following a defeat at Tottenham on New Year’s Day that left Fulham floundering third from bottom of the League. In his absence, Fulham chalked up one draw and four wins including Sunday’s 4-0 trouncing of Spurs in the FA Cup.

He insisted that run of form came as no surprise, saying: “The signs were there before I left. We’d had a great result at Stoke, we were unlucky at Tottenham and after those two games it felt like it was a case of onwards and upwards.

“The performance against Newcastle might not have been our best but we were against a side that tried to stop us from playing. In the second half we got more space, took control of the game and deservedly won.

“You can see there’s confidence in the team and we’re building momentum. And having players coming back from injury makes a big difference.”

Schwarzer was referring to strikers Andy Johnson and Mousa Dembele, who have added the cutting edge to Mark Hughes’s team that was so obviously absent earlier in the campaign.

But he also applauded the transfer window captures of Steve Sidwell, from Aston Villa, and Gael Kakuta, the 19-year-old on loan from Chelsea who came off the bench to make his Fulham debut last night.

Schwarzer said: “Steve did well against Newcastle and Gael looks lively up front. Sometimes new players take time to settle but they already look like very good acquisitions.”

Hughes’s decision to recall Schwarzer at the expense of David Stockdale, who conceded just four goals in his six games standing in between the posts, was justified nine minutes from time when the Aussie reacted brilliantly to drop down and smother Nile Ranger’s close-range shot.