Mark Hughes believes the only way is up for Fulham and has backed his players to secure a top-half finish in the Barclays Premier League.
The Cottagers’ relegation worries have been quelled in recent times by an impressive run of form that has seen them beaten only once since New Year’s Day, moving up to 13th place in the process.
However, Hughes’ side still lie just four points above the relegation zone heading into Saturday’s clash with his former club Blackburn and know they could yet be sucked into the relegation mire.
While Fulham have lost just eight of their 28 Premier League matches this season, the Londoners have drawn half of their games with the latest point coming last weekend at another of Hughes’ former charges, Manchester City.
The Welshman believes such inability to eke out a victory has cost his side dearly since taking over from Roy Hodgson in the summer, yet he believes his players have the attitude and aptitude to push up the table.
“I think we are doing well, we’ve moved on,” said Hughes.
“The team has added qualities that maybe it didn’t have before we came, certainly the way we approach away games and the way we take the game to the opposition away from home is something that is a positive for us.
“In terms of points accumulated, we would say we feel we are probably better than the points we have.
“We have had a hell of a lot of draws that even if we had converted a very small number of those draws then we would be very comfortably in the top 10, which is where I feel we should be.
“But we are quite calm and reasonably pleased with where we are and certainly next year we feel we can kick on.”
He added: “We have been playing well for a long time. I would be more concerned if we were showing inconsistent form, struggling in games and conceding poor goals.
“That’s not the case in our view and we’re playing good stuff, creating chances against top quality opposition.
“I’m very pleased with what we’re doing at the moment and that’s why I look at the teams above us rather than the ones below us.”
While much of the pre-match talk have been about the long-awaited league return of England striker Bobby Zamora, Hughes was instead quick to hail his side’s recent defensive prowess.
Fulham have yet to concede a league goal at Craven Cottage in 2011 and now face a Rovers side on a four-game losing streak away from Ewood Park.
“We are playing well in terms of our defensive work and I think obviously the central partnership we have at the moment – Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland – are playing exceptionally well,” he said.
“Their performance against Manchester City was exceptional and along with the form of Carlos Salcido and Chris Baird we look a good, solid unit.
“Obviously we make sure they have protection in front as well so the team is working collectively really well and I’m pleased with what we are doing.”