Fulham manager Felix Magath believes his charges are starting to improve and insists they can survive the drop.
The Whites were beaten 3-1 by near neighbours and league leaders Chelsea on Saturday and remain rooted firmly at the bottom of the Premier League with 10 games remaining.
Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho is hopeful that the Craven Cottage outfit will survive and the German remains confident, even though his side couldn’t take advantage of the Blues’ 3,000 mile trip to Istanbul in midweek for a Champions League tie against Galatasaray.
“Yeh, sure – I think we will stay up,” said Magath.
“Nothing has changed by losing to Chelsea. We played against the leader of the Premier League, and you can’t expect that we are strong enough to beat the leader.
“They played very well. I was in good hope that Chelsea had a long trip, and they would be a little bit tired, and they would play a little bit slowly.
“But they were in good shape. And if the leader is in good shape it is very difficult to beat them.”
He added: “I think [they are good enough to win the Premier League]
“They are good, yes.”
Magath does feel that his side is lacking a bit of confidence at the moment with their last Premier League win coming on New Year’s Day against West Ham.
“Yes, that [lack of confidence] showed in the second half,” he admitted.
“The confidence is not so strong that we can compensate for such a fast goal in the second half.
“It did not help that we lost Brede Hangeland to injury [after 15 minutes]. So there was no leader. I think you can’t really blame the team for that.
“But we played well in the first half – we didn’t play like a relegated team, we played very well.
“If we do that in our next game against Cardiff City, in both halves, we will win.”
While Fulham only have 10 games to save their top flight status, with a relegation six-pointer coming up against Cardiff next weekend.
Magath is hoping for continued improvement ahead of that vital game.
“We are better than we were last week, and so, step by step it goes forward.
“That is all I can ask for – that we go step by step, and we are on the right way.”
Magath has tasted success as a manager, winning consecutive Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, and a further title with VfL Wolfsburg in 2009 – being down at the other end of the table holds no fear for him, although he would prefer not to be there.
“Oh, Saturday, there was no pressure,” he suggested. “It was a pleasure for me. I hoped to win, but I never expected the team to win against Chelsea.
“I hate to lose. And if you play against relegation, you don’t have enough wins for being very confident.
“So, in my opinion there is more pressure if you are fighting against relegation”
Magath will be spending this week at Fulham’s Motspur Park training complex working on defending after a lacklustre second half against Chelsea.
“We have to work more at defending,” he said. “We forgot how to defend in the second half.
“Do you remember the first goal? Andre Schurrle – he takes the ball at the throw-in, near the Chelsea goal, and he goes 90 metres without any contact with our team.
“He goes, he goes, he runs, he runs – and then he scores, and nobody was there.
“The players will be having defensive training sessions this week.”