Fulham captain Tom Cairney feels another emphatic win will have sent a message to their Championship promotion rivals.

The Whites scored six again as they put Birmingham City to the sword at Craven Cottage last night and Cairney believes the significance of that victory, which puts Marco Silva’s side five points clear at the top of the table, can’t be understated. He told FFCTV after the final whistle last night:

“It has been a good run of consecutive games after quite a big break after Christmas and New Year with the games getting cancelled. It is important that we’ve done what we’ve done – we’ve scored a lot of goals. To win when you’re top of the league is very important. It’s been a while since we’ve done that.”

Cairney still seemed a bit astonished by the fact that Fulham had scored six for the third game in succession, but believes Silva’s footballing philosophy always gives them a chance of grabbing goals.

“No, you can’t expect it. It is a very difficult, difficult league. We’re very good going forward, we always create chances and at the minute we’re putting them away. It’s delightful to play in.”

He was disappointed that Fulham let in Ivan Sunjic’s strike right on half time and felt the home side might have taken their foot of the gas at times during the second period.

“It is really disappointing to concede that goal just before half time. We could have made it a lot more comfortable for ourselves going in at 4-0. The boy scored a wonder goal – it is what it is. The second half was a bit cagey and it was a little bit tiring. It was the third game in a week. We got over the line in decent style at the end.”

The playmaker, still getting back to match sharpness after ten months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury, was pleased to get on the scoresheet again himself.

“Yeah, it was nice. It was nice hitting the back of the net. It’s always nice scoring at the Cottage. It was a great feeling. One of six – that was alright!”

Cairney knows that Stoke City, who are just four points off the play-off places, will pose a very different challenge on Saturday.

“It’s not going to be easy. It is another quick turnaround. Stoke won their last game, they’re playing decent. They are having a decent season – but I think we’ll go to any ground and try and win the game.”