Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Murphy not counting any chickens

Danny Murphy

Fulham captain Danny Murphy maintains his side will not take anything for granted against when they look to finish off NSI Runavik in the Faroe Islands on Thursday night and stay on course for the Europa League.

New manager Martin Jol enjoyed a winning start with last week's 3-0 victory in their first qualifying round first leg clash at Craven Cottage, where Murphy netted from the spot. However, the former Liverpool midfielder maintains the squad cannot think the job is already done as their build-up to the new domestic campaign continues in unlikely surroundings of Torshavn.

"It is a difficult one at three-nil. If it was five it would probably be easier. I would expect one or two of the young lads to play maybe," Murphy told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com. "Of course you need the spine of the team, but when you play away it could be a dodgy pitch and it only takes one mistake and you can be a goal down after 10 minutes."

He added: "You have to be careful, but let's be honest, whatever team we play we should be comfortable with a three-nil lead.

"As the game went on at the Cottage we should have scored more goals and wrapped it up."

Fulham were handed the opportunity to compete in Europe via UEFA's Fair Play League, but still have a long road ahead before they can contemplate tackling the group stages.

Having reached the 2010 Europa League final under Roy Hodgson, Murphy would welcome another shot and believes progression through the qualifiers should see Jol's men hit the ground running for their opening Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa.

"It is a positive that we have got the opportunity to play in Europe again," said the former Liverpool, Charlton and Tottenham midfielder.

"Not everybody is used to doing it so it's going to be a test, but you've got to look at the positives, and the run of two years ago will live long in the memory of everybody associated with Fulham, so why not go on a good run again?

"The squad is as healthy as it's ever been in terms of quality. We are lacking a few numbers and I am sure that will be addressed."