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Murphy orders one last push

Image: Murphy: Wants Euro glory

Danny Murphy gave Fulham a frank rally-cry ahead of their Europa League final - "complete the fairytale".

Fulham skipper warns plaudits will sound hollow unless they land trophy

Danny Murphy gave Fulham a frank rally-cry ahead of their Europa League final - complete the fairytale. The Cottagers are within one win of securing the greatest result in their 131-year history as they take on Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's European showpiece. In the 18 games it has taken Fulham to reach the Nordbank Arena, Roy Hodgson's side have defied odds to upset a host of clubs across the continent, including big-spending holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg. The Premier League outfit have earned rave reviews for reaching the final in Hamburg but club captain Murphy, who won the same trophy with Liverpool in 2001, says the arduous 10-month campaign will count for nothing unless they are crowned winners in Germany. "Even though we deserve the praise we're getting, it won't make it feel any better if we wake up on Thursday morning without having won the trophy," said the 33-year-old. "It's great to be in the final but we want to win and complete the fairytale. "If we manage that we can be pleased with ourselves and look back with huge satisfaction on a wonderful season. "For us to win would be an unbelievable achievement. To do what we've done is remarkable with the squad and the budget we have. "We know it will be difficult because that's the way it's been in every match of this competition."


Mirroring virtually their entire European campaign, Fulham are expected to be up against it one last time after bookmakers installed Atletico as clear favourites. Hodgson's side have spent the season making a mockery of predictions so another upset would hardly be surprising, but Murphy insists Atletico start in pole position. The Spanish club may sit in mid-table of La Liga but they have also reached the final of the domestic cup and bristle with attacking options in Sergio Aguero, Jose Antonio Reyes and Diego Forlan. "I wouldn't understand if people made us favourites. You have to base it on the players the team has and the budgets they work from," he said. "I'd hazard a guess that Atletico's wage bill is far greater than ours. They have a lot of top-class international players "We deserve respect for what we've achieved but they're still the favourites. "That's no problem to us anyway, we're used to it now. If we play well we can beat anybody."
Zamora & Duff injuries
Fulham are waiting for injury updates on striker Bobby Zamora and winger Damien Duff, who face a race against time to be fit from their respective Achilles and leg problems. "Hopefully Bobby and Damien will be fit," said Murphy. "It would be a shame if either of them were to miss out because they've contributed so much to this season. "They've been two of our best players so it's fingers crossed because you want your best team available."

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