Sunderland may arrive at Craven Cottage on Saturday (3pm) bottom of the league but Elsad Zverotić is expecting a tough test of Fulham’s credentials.
The Black Cats are currently four points adrift of safety at the foot of the Barclays Premier League, but have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes of late. Gus Poyet’s side have lost just one of their last five league games and also earned a morale-boosting win over Manchester United in the First Leg of their Capital One Cup Semi-Final on Tuesday night.
The Whites, too, are on the up and Zverotić told the official website: “We know that the game against Sunderland is an important one. It’s so tight at the moment, and there are a lot of teams that need to fight their way out of where they are in the table.
“They [Sunderland] are at the bottom right now, but they’ve shown that they’re a very capable side on their day. They beat Manchester United 2-1 in the League Cup this week, and that would have given them a lot of confidence.
“They’ve actually had some very good results; beating Newcastle United, Manchester City and Everton this season. They also defeated Chelsea in the League Cup and ran them close in the league.
“Gus Poyet has come in as Head Coach, and he’s having a good effect. He has some good players in his side, and we’ll have to be very aware of that when they come to Craven Cottage.”
A win for the Whites on Saturday, coupled with results elsewhere, could see René Meulensteen’s men go up to the dizzy heights of 13th.
“We opened the season with a win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, so hopefully we can get the three points again,” said right-back Zverotić, who started last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City in the FA Cup with Budweiser. “If we can do that, then we could really start to push up the table.
“We got a fantastic win against West Ham United on New Year’s Day, and it’s vital that we build on that. We’re playing some good football; if we keep playing the way we have been then I’m sure we’ll fine. We’re taking one game at a time.
“This is a tough league, one of the best in the world. It’s so competitive, but that’s the challenge I knew that it would be when I signed. I’ve enjoyed my time at the Club so far, and I’m determined to help the team as much as a I can.”