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Stefan Johansen is looking forward to tackling the Premier League and the Norwegian midfielder believes the Whites can start strongly, despite suffering a narrow defeat by Sampdoria at Aldershot in last night’s friendly.

The Norway captain feels as though the hard yards during the summer will come in handy once the league campaign gets underway on August 11 against Crystal Palace. He told Fulham’s official website:

At this stage of pre-season we’ve been working really hard. The training has been hard and a lot of players have got minutes in their legs. We’ve made some good signings now as well, so we are starting to get to where we should be and we still have a week-and-a-half until the real deal starts.

Johansen also believes that the quality additions to the squad over the summer give Fulham a good chance of being able to hit the ground running.

Mitro has come in and we know him, André Schürrle is a World Cup winner so that says it all. Mika and Max came in and will be good signings for our squad and Fabri as well has now come in so we are starting to get to where we should be as a squad. As I said we have been working really hard for four weeks now and there is one more game until the real deal starts but I think we are starting to look ready for it.

We have obviously talked to Mitro since last season and he always wanted to come back here, he knows the head coach well, he knows the players around him and he knows the club, so it’s a good match both for him and for us obviously so I’m sure he will do big things. André is a great guy and a great player as well, you can see his quality already so he will be a useful signing for us in this coming season.

The energetic midfielder is also excited about returning to Craven Cottage for the final pre-season friendly against Celta Vigo this weekend.

Saturday is the last game before the Premier League starts and it’s a friendly but it’s the last real test we have before the main thing starts. We are finally back at the Cottage and hopefully we can win the game and put on a good performance and get some more minutes in the legs before Crystal Palace.

After the season finished last year, most of the boys couldn’t wait until the season started again. This is where we want to be, playing against Crystal Palace, we open at home and the Cottage is going to be full. We had some great games there last year with fantastic atmosphere’s and we hope the fans can turn up the same way as they did last year and it’s up to us to put on a show for them,