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Murphy buoyed by 'phenomenal' support
Published : 12 May 2010 07:43:00
Danny Murphy hopes Fulham will be inspired by the support of the nation when they meet Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final. The Cottagers' fairytale march to the showpiece at the Hamburg Arena has won near-universal approval in a rare show of unity from English fans. Murphy believes the commitment his side have shown in defying all odds en route to the biggest match in their history explains their popularity. "It's a fair point to say that this is probably the first time the whole of England want an English club to win in Europe," said the captain. "There may be a few Chelsea fans who disagree but the support we've received - phone calls and meeting people in the street - has been amazing. "It's phenomenal really - Fulham are everybody's second favourite club at the moment. "Maybe that's because of our spirit and our unusual position this season in that we've overcome the odds and beaten so many good teams. "I think supporters appreciate good football and, over the course of the competition, we've certainly tried to play the right way. "It's nice to have that encouragement because it gives you the extra incentive to take the trophy home. "We've been surprised and overwhelmed with all the support we've had." Murphy helped Liverpool win the 2001 UEFA Cup but insists Fulham's European adventure is a greater achievement. "When you play for a club like Liverpool winning trophies every season is expected," he said. "You become a bit complacent and you think it will happen every year. "The comments they made recently that winning this competition would have been a consolation to them shows where they are. "To write our name in the history book by reaching the final has been special, but to go that one step further and win would be something we'd remember forever." Fulham are sweating on the fitness of striker Bobby Zamora who sat out training last night as he continues his battle to recover from an Achilles injury. Fears over the availability of Damien Duff has eased, however, with the Republic of Ireland winger expected to start after shaking off a calf problem.