Europe for Whites?

Friday 25 January 2002

Fulham's recent run of form has got the players thinking about a place in Europe, says defender Steve Finnan.

"There's a growing sense that perhaps we're capable of aiming beyond our original targets for the season," the Irish international said.

"The boss said in the summer that he thought we'd finish between eighth and 12th, but there's a consensus now that with a bit of luck we could finish higher.

"The big challenge for us now is to start converting draws into victories. If we could have held the lead at Sunderland then a Fulham victory wouldn't have been a steal and we'd be higher in the table."

Before the Cottagers continue with their Premiership quest, they have to travel to York in the FA Cup for a game between the haves and have-nots.

"We're on a hiding to nothing," Finnan said. "We're in the top half of the Premiership and they're one from bottom of the Third Division and if we lose, it will be one of those games for ever replayed on TV.

"York are in all sorts of financial difficulties at the moment and I've no doubt that the uncertainty surrounding the club's future will only increase their motivation."

And despite playing for one of the richest clubs in the country, Finnan still feels for the plight of the Minstermen.

He added: "Money hasn't been a problem for Fulham since the chairman got involved. We've had money to spend on new players and it looks like the plans for a new stadium will go ahead.

"But we shouldn't forget players and clubs at the other end of the scale. Football isn't just about the Premiership."