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Scott Parker says that Fulham’s belief has been boosted by their outstanding win over defending champions Liverpool – but he knows that Saturday night will provide another stiff test in the shape of league leaders Manchester City.

The Fulham boss has remained steadfast in his belief that the Whites will have enough to stay in the top flight even when results have not gone their way, but he concedes that winning at Anfield will have given his players ‘extra belief’. Parker told his pre-match press conference:

“I think it always helps, you win football matches, you get that extra belief – not that we needed it. I think I’ve been really consistent with that and what I’ve said we never really needed that. But a football club is always better when you come in on a Monday morning and you’ve won a game.

So I’d like to think it’s given extra belief to the players to think they can go to a place like Liverpool and Anfield and put in a performance and play like they did and get a result at the end of it. I think the difference at times this year has been solely a result, the performance has been there, the levels of performance has been there but the difference has been the result. We got that against Liverpool and hopefully we can keep moving in the right direction.”

Parker is under no illusions about the size of the challenge posed by Pep Guardiola’s City.

“You can’t (switch off against City), their quality all over the pitch in terms of structure, their positional play, they’re a threat in every single moment of the game. Out of possession they’re a threat, in terms of transitions, with the ball, the way they can move the ball – I think we understand that.

“I thought Southampton started the game very well last night and then after 14 minutes were really the dominant team in the first part and then literally in a click of a finger, one ball over the top, across the face and before you know it Man City are 1-0 up. So I think we realise, or certainly I do, the animal we’re playing against here, that from the the first moment…that focus in terms of defensive shape and that focus in those moments is going to be very key.”

He is a firm admirer of Guardiola as a coach.

“He’s someone that from the outset, when I set off in my coaching career and looked at many people, many coaches, many styles, many ways, as well as my own experiences and my own knowledge and how I want my team to play and then being part of it – this is a coach that probably in my lifetime I’ve not seen a better one in what he’s done and what he’s created.

Every team and every football club that he’s been at he’s created a clear style and a clear way so definitely he’s one that I’ve looked at and tried to work things out or study in a way because he’s going to go down as one of the greats really.”

Parker had further praise for his defence, especially the partnership between Joachim Andersen and former Manchester City man Tosin Adarabioyo at the heart of his bac four.

“They’ve been really solid. Great teams, you find the biggest pairing is the central defenders. It’s key and pivotal. Joachim and Tosin have formed a very good partnership along with the whole defensive unit and a team. As a team we’ve defended much better. That’s helped how solid we’ve been, it’s in large part down to the partnership between them.”