Tom Cairney feels Fulham’s belief is growing as they climb up the Championship table – and their push for promotion gathered pace with an important win at Derby County yesterday.

The Whites moved above Gary Rowett’s side with a 2-1 win at Pride Park and the Fulham skipper professed himself pleased with the way his team allied some silky first-half football with plenty of fight once Derby had halved their arrears midway through the second period. Cairney told FulhamFCTV after the final whistle:

I’m delighted with the way with played, particularly in the first half. It was perhaps typical Fulham in a way – we should have been out of sight at half time. When we conceded the goal, to not lose the game or draw the game – I think we would have done that in previous seasons – I think it just shows how far we’ve come. Winning a place like this, where many of the lads in the dressing have had bad experiences was important. We rolled our sleeves up and, at times, played football they couldn’t handle.

We spoke before the game about the run we’re on and how we haven’t done enough yet. The side at the minute has got a lot of belief and the strength that we’ve got on the bench, bringing people on, it’s frightening. I think Mitrovic was outstanding again today – it just gives us an extra dimension. The belief’s high within the group now.

The Fulham midfielder also sounded an encouraging note on his own injury problems – suggesting he may be reaching his fullest fitness of a season that has been plagued by knee complaints.

I’m getting there. It’s obviously been frustrating. At Christmas time, I was there and then I had that eight game period where I had a break again, but I think I’ve played four games now – we’ve won three – and I feel quite strong.