Slavisa Jokanovic believes playing the “best football in the Championship” could give Fulham the edge in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.
The Cottagers face Aston Villa in the Wembley showpiece on Saturday, hoping to end a four-year absence from the Premier League.
They have won plaudits for their attractive style of football, which made them the best team in the division since the turn of the year.
They went 23 games unbeaten – half of the regular season – and only missed out on automatic promotion with defeat on the final day.
After overcoming Derby in the semi-final they have another chance to finish the job, with Jokanovic hoping their form can see them through.
“At the start of the season if someone bet on Villa against Fulham, people would certainly bet on Villa,” the Fulham boss said.
“After the last few months where we showed we can play better and the best football in the Championship we can be favourites but everything is history and the past.
“Now is not important who is favourite and who is not, we will see on the end.”
While Fulham may have the edge on form and momentum – they finished five points ahead of Villa over the season – Steve Bruce’s side win it on experience.
No manager has won more promotions to the Premier League than Bruce’s four, while their side is full of players who have been there and done it in the game, with the likes of John Terry, Alan Hutton, James Chester and Robert Snodgrass.
But Jokanovic says that because their opponents have so much experience in the bag, it means they are no longer at their peak.
“It’s not important,” he said.
“Where we are talking about experience, where we are talking about the past, there are many important players who played in this stadium before and now they cannot offer their best performance.
“My team is ready and prepared, we know what we will do with or without the ball and this is why I am really encouraged.”