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Fulham skipper Murphy places Europa League second to Premiership survival

Fulham captain Danny Murphy saw his team ease to a 3-0 victory over Faroese minnows NSI Runavik in a Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday night, but was quick to state the main focus is still the Premier League. The game marked the start of an 11-month season for new Cottagers boss Martin Jol and his men, which some fear could see them struggle for form and fitness in the Premier League.

"I think last time we did it - if I remember correctly - we put ourselves in quite a safe position (in the league) quite early on," he said.

"We were never ever in any trouble and I think the problems come if you are trying to fight a relegation battle.

"Or like last season where there were 10 teams up until probably the last month of the season fighting week-in, week-out.

"If you're trying to play European games as well then it could be problematic but let's hope we're not in that position.

"The squad is as healthy as it has been in a long time in terms of quality. We are lacking a few numbers - that's true - but they know that upstairs and they will be addressing it.

"But we've got to be careful not to get too focused on the Europa even though that is the focus at the moment, if you know what I mean?

"The Premier League is your bread and butter and the last thing you want to be doing is losing silly games and points because you're trying to progress in this competition.

"It is a fine balance but the manager gets paid big bucks for (making decisions like this)."

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Fulham transfer market news and gossip.

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Dave Williams

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