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Fulham have given Scott Parker, Giorgos Karagounis and Steve Sidwell a special training schedule to help the midfielders cope with the busy festive period.

Rene Meulensteen and the club’s medical staff have devised a strict programme that is geared towards managing their fitness, with the club facing five games in 14 days.

Parker, 33 (above, right), Karagounis, 36, and Sidwell, 30, have been a big factor behind Fulham’s fight for survival in recent weeks and Meulensteen is keen to safeguard against fatigue.

It is hoped the schedule will help keep the trio fully fit as Fulham, who were beaten 4-1 at Everton on Saturday, bid to pull clear of the relegation zone.

“You manage the squad in three different stages: the players above 30, the players between 25-30 and the younger ones,” said head coach Meulensteen. “They all need a different approach to make sure they are ready to perform to the best they can. The Christmas period it is challenging for the whole squad, not only the older players.”