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Harrison Reed has heaped praise on Fulham manager Scott Parker – saying his preparation and tactical acumen has boosted the belief amongst the squad that the Whites can avoid relegation from the top flight.

The former Southampton midfielder says Fulham have taken great confidence from their outstanding win at Liverpool last weekend. In a lengthy interview with Sky Sports, Reed insisted his side were good value for their win at Anfield and called on his team-mates to carry that level of performance in this weekend’s meeting with Manchester City.

“From the first whistle at Anfield we were on the front foot, we were controlling the tempo of the game. I felt we fully deserved the lead we went into half-time with but of course they’re Premier League champions and the game can change a lot and we had to suffer a lot in the second half without the ball and dig in. Then we showed a different side to us from the first half, so that was really pleasing.

It’s a great feeling. You look at the league table and, yeah, we’re down the bottom and we’re fighting for our lives, of course. But when you watch us play we don’t look like a team down there – and we certainly don’t feel like a team that’s down there in the way the game pans out.”

Reed isn’t in any doubt of the scale of the challenge Fulham will be facing when taking on the league leaders on Saturday night.

“It’s obviously going to be a very difficult game against Man City. Their style of play, how clever the manager is, how he sets up his team, how clever the players are, the ability they have… That’s clear to see. But it’s a challenge we’re going to relish. We’re going to set up to attack them. I think away from home against City it was one of the only games where we weren’t really in the game and we want to change that this time. We want to be front-foot, we want to be in their faces.

“We’ve got a lot of belief coming out of the Liverpool game and it would be a shame not to carry that belief and momentum into this one and give it a real good go. So we’ll prepare for it as best we can and we’ll go into it with belief and confidence and let’s see what we can get from the game – hopefully three points.

The tigerish midfielder highlighted the meticulous work of Parker and his backroom staff in getting Fulham prepared for their opponents as well as being able to adapt to a number of different in game scenarios.

“The first thing I noticed when I came in on loan at the start of last season was the amount of detail that Parker, Wellsy and Stuart Gray all go into. They leave no stone unturned. Preparation for the game usually happens with a two, three-day build-up. Then, throughout the game, in and out of possession, we understand everything the opposition can throw at us and the way we can counteract that and hurt teams. We go into the game full of confidence because of that – and it’s showing now with the results against top teams.”

Reed praised Parker’s personal influence on his own game, revealing that he has tapped into his manager’s experience because of their shared positions.

“If you see our day-to-day training, the amount of detail and focus we have in there is very, very high. It’s incredible really, working with this manager. My knowledge of the game now, from working under him day in, day out has grown massively. I think you can see it on the pitch. The players are comfortable in any formation we play and any set-up we can change in the game and the transition is pretty fluid. That’s a real positive and a real strength of our team.

“Especially early on in my time here we spoke a lot and I picked his brains about the position. I watched the manager when he was a player and I understood what I felt he wanted me to bring to the team and the attributes he was looking for me to bring to each game. Of course, I speak to him a lot still about individual games and reflecting on games, but I feel I really understand what he wants me to bring to every game and to the team, and that’s doing the basics really well and giving the team a platform to go on and perform in the game.

“In the academy it was very technical but I felt the side of the game I needed to improve on most was the tactical side of it. My understanding of the game and reading of the game – and I think that’s what Scott’s given to me massively. I listen to every word he says. He’s on the sideline and he can probably see every picture I’m going to see and he knows where the pressure is going to come from. In my position, out of possession, if I can’t get pressure on the ball I need to be blocking passing lanes, I need to be making interceptions, winning duels – and that’s something he has given me a lot more than any other manager has.”

“As a team we want to be a good footballing side and I want to be a player who is technically good, who can control the game, make passes, make assists, look good in possession… but where I feel I’ve improved a lot this season is out of possession. Doing the nasty stuff, doing the dirty work, putting my foot in, disrupting the game, making interceptions. I spoke about those things with the coaching staff and the fitness coach early in the season about how I can impact games more out of possession and I think that’s something I’ve improved on and it’s given me a platform to perform in games.

Stats are looked at more and more in football these days and I was aware of the areas of my game I needed to be better at and I wanted to be competing with the best in my position. I feel like over the course of the season that has allowed me to step up and put in much better performances than at the start of the season and help the team.”