Fulham's Tom Cairney embracing fight for starting spot

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Tom Cairney is expecting a tough battle to keep his place in Fulham's starting XI

Tom Cairney is embracing competition at Fulham after the promoted side's busy Deadline Day which saw five players join.

The Cottagers took their total acquisitions over the summer to 12 in the final hours of the window with the arrival of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Joe Bryan as well as a trio of loan signings, including Sergio Rico, Luciano Vietto and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Cairney was a key figure as Fulham earned promotion form the Sky Bet Championship via the play-offs last season, with the central midfielder scoring the only goal against Aston Villa in the final at Wembley.

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"I was sat watching it just like everyone else, like 'another one'," Cairney said. "It was exciting. It's really good. Being a player you want to play with the best players and against good players as you can."

"You've got to give a lot of credit to the owners. They've backed us, showed a lot of ambition and they're right behind us. It's down to us now to repay them."

"You think, 'wow, it's even harder to stay in the team,' but if you want to stay in this league for a long time you need that competition for places, you need quality."

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson were signed from Newcastle and Swansea respectively, while midfielders Jean Michael Seri and Anguissa both arrived from France's Ligue 1, all on deals around or above £20m.

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Further high-profile players, such as world cup winger Andre Schurrle and Spanish goalkeeper Rico, arrived on loan deals.

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Slavisa Jokanovic says Fulham needed to invest in order to compete

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic used eight of the new players during his side's opening day defeat to Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage, with the likes of Mawson and Anguissa not yet available.

"On Saturday our back five had two or three days together before the first game of the season, which is obviously not ideal," Cairney added.

"I guess it's a fine balance between keeping the spirit from last season and adding the quality that we brought in."

"It's a tough job. That's why top managers are top managers and I'm sure our manager will be fine doing that."

Fulham return to Premier League action as they take on Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

Tom Cairney was speaking at an event at JD Oxford Street to promote Fulham's 2018/19 home and away kits.

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