“They’ll start worrying”. That’s the message Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney has delivered to his Championship rivals in an interview with The Evening Standard.

Prior to the season starting, Slavisa Jokanovic’s side were among the favourites for promotion to the Premier League. Their form over the second half of last season send them racing into the play-offs before being knocked out by Reading in the play-offs.

But Fulham host Birmingham tomorrow afternoon sitting in 15th place, nine points beyond the play-offs. However Cairney is aware that if the Whites can get a few more wins under their belt then Championship defences will begin worrying that they have rediscovered their form from last term.

“We’ve still got the fear factor,” the club skipper told Standard Sport. “Teams still respect us and if we win two or three on the bounce they’ll start worrying we’re back to that peak from last season.

“I don’t think we’ve hit our best form yet but to be fair we hit our peak quite late last season as well. The second season is always the hardest. Teams set up differently for us now. Last year we shocked a lot of teams with our style of football. This year we’re a scalp.

“The play-offs aren’t a million miles away, we just need a run. Back-to-back wins can do so much for you in this league.”

The midfielder has admitted that he is yet to reach peak form, with his previous knee injury causing him to miss eight of Fulham’s opening eleven League matches of the season, however he says that the injury was his fault due to rushing in order to be ready for the start of the Cottagers’ campaign.

My injury was weird. On the scan there was no damage but there was pain I couldn’t get rid of,” he said. “It’s not completely gone now but I can deal with it. In hindsight, I definitely wouldn’t have rushed back.

“As stupid as it sounds, at least if you break something you can see the injury and you know how long you’re going to be out.

“With this there were no timescales. The physios didn’t know. No-one knew what the best thing was to do so I kept coming back and trying to force it.”


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