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Scott Parker struck a pessimistic note on the possibility of any Fulham signings before the end of the January transfer window, telling his pre-match press conference that it is ‘going to be difficult’ to get new players in.

The Fulham boss has principally targeted a new addition up front, having had to rely on Ivan Cavaleiro as a makeshift forward with Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic struggling for form and fitness of late. Ahead of a critical double header against relegation rivals Brighton and West Bromwich Albion, Parker admitted Fulham were finding it hard to secure a new arrival:

It is going to be difficult for us to be honest. We understand where we need to improve, we’re a team that have just come up from the Championship and the void to the teams who are established is huge. You need to try and be competitive, need to evolve and bring players in. At the same time the balance of expenditure and a realism of where you are is needed.

At this moment in time it is going to be a challenge for us. If that is the case I understand and we all understand the situation. I have a group here who have improved drastically. If we continue to do that we will give ourselves a chance.

One of Fulham’s major problems is the huge nature of their first-team squad. Parker confirmed that Stefan Johansen is expected to join Queens Park Rangers on loan, but wouldn’t be drawn on whether Jean-Michael Seri or Neeskens Kebano – both rumoured to be targets of other sides – will also be leaving before the deadline.

“Stefan will go there to play some games and get some football. I am expecting that to go through. Where we are in terms of players coming in, I’m not going to be brought into who exactly is going to go out. It is clear that the squad is quite big in terms of numbers. There is the option to some to go and get some game time. We’ll decide that in coming days.”

Parker recognises the importance of Wednesday’s trip to Brighton, who sit directly above Fulham in the Premier League table, but is refusing to characterise it as a must-win match.

“They are big. But I don’t think they are the be all and end all. There are still a lot of games, I feel we have a team here who can win two or three back to back. That’s the way I feel. We all understand these are big games. understand that it is a big game. The reason it’s a big game is because of where the two teams in the division. The longer the season goes on it becomes more intense. We’re halfway through, do I see this is the be all and end all and our fate is done? No I don’t.”