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Chris Baird is confident that Fulham can reach the group stages of the Europa League but has warned his team-mates that Thursday’s second leg against RNK Split could be a tight affair.

Martin Jol’s side were held to a goalless draw in Croatia last week and the Fulham manager has already warned his players that they will need to be at their best to reach the play-off round. Baird doesn’t dispute Jol’s warning.

I can see that myself as well. I think the draw was a good result for us because they weren’t a bad side. I’m not making excuses. The pitch was a big factor for us but they also made it a tough game. Now we’ll be on our own surface, with our own fans behind us and I would fully expect us to get the win.

Baird says he is enjoying another European campaign having reached the final with Fulham back in 2010.

It’s been great to be in the Europa League again. Obviously the results show that we’re taking it seriously. We’ve had a few tough games but we’ve come through them.

The last game against RNK was a hard one but hopefully we’re going to get the win we need back at the Cottage. We’ll be hoping to get into the group stages again. We’re in the competition and we want to do well and get as far as we can.

It’s going to be hard no matter what but, at the end of the day, it’s just down to us. If we can get into the group stages it will be magnificent for the club and great for the boys.