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Scott Parker brings his Fulham team to Turf Moor for the first time as they return to the North West quickly following Sunday’s 2-0 win at Everton.

Parker said it has given his squad a big lift. “It brings a massive belief, he said. “I always felt, and I still feel, that belief was never an issue in that sense, because there was a lot of football to be played and we’ve been very, very competitive. The other night, was there a big difference in performance? Not really. Granted, I thought we played very, very well, but we’ve played very well over the last run of fourteen games.

“We’ve had four defeats out of that, and those four defeats came against the top four in the division. We’ve been very, very competitive, we’ve played very, very good football. We’ve been a little bit short, which I think we’ve all recognised, in terms of that final detail and not being on the right side of that. We were the right side of that at the weekend and we won the game.

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“But it’s fair to say belief, confidence, is there. You don’t perform like we’ve performed if confidence isn’t there, and there’s still a lot of football to be played. We now have a massive week of games ahead of us, we go to Burnley on Wednesday, Sheffield United at the weekend, and then Crystal Palace. Like I keep saying, we know what we need to do, we need to win football matches, and we’re at that point where we’re going into another big week, and there’s a big 16 games ahead of us.”

It’s Burnley first in this run of three games and he admitted to being under no illusions about the size of the challenge his team will face.

“It’s a really tough game,” he said. “We understand that. What Sean’s done there over a period of time has been remarkable. They go into the game with a couple of injures that they’ve picked up. I think Ben Mee won’t be available due to concussion, Pieters came off so I think at this time of the year we’re all struggling a little bit in terms of the games and where we are. Like always, it’s a massive game for us ahead. We understand the problems that Burnley are going to cause us, and we need to be prepared for it.”

He’s likely to start again with Josh Maja up front, the player who got a brace on his first start. Parker said of him: “What a way to start, full Premier League debut for us and to score two goals and for us to win the game, it was pretty special for him really. I’m really conscious; I don’t want to put a lot on someone so young’s shoulders but I’ve been very impressed in the short space of time I’ve been working with Josh and hopefully that can continue really.

“He’s fitted in very, very well. I think he’s come into a young group, a real energetic upbeat group of players and he’s fitted in to that bracket very, very well. He’s also fitted in, in a short space of time, as one who wants to learn, a player who wants to get better and I think that’s vitally important when you come in to where we are and he’s made those strides very, very easily.”

While fans are looking at tonight as a key game, Sean Dyche continues to work one game at a time and ahead of Fulham’s visit he said: “My feelings on not targeting games is that I can’t talk about the need for consistency, and then only apply it to certain games. My way of looking at is that we should be up for every game. We should be well organised and ready to deliver every time. If that mindset is right over the course of a season, then you’re ready to take on any team.

“I believe we are organised, we’re fit, we have a strong mentality towards performing as well as we can, and we have a fair amount of technical quality as well. On the training ground I stress the need for those things every time, so I don’t think I can then talk about the need to target certain opponents. I want to see them perform at a high level all the time.”

With Burnley looking to move closer to the teams just ahead of us in the table, he added: “It’s not just about us. There are a few teams around that 25 to 29 points mark, five in all, so they (Fulham) won’t just be thinking about catching us. I can assure you they will be looking to win games. They’re out to win as many as they can.

“I’m sure Scott Parker won’t just have been saying we need to get wins against the teams around us, and they’ve shown that with a very good victory at Everton. We’re the same, we’ll take wins wherever we can get them. When we’ve been playing catch up, it hasn’t been a case of us shifting our focus, because I always expect a lot from my players, whatever the circumstances. Our job is to be clear minded about what we want to achieve, and to be ready to go out and deliver performances.”

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