Schwarzer targets top half

Fulham goalkeeper impressed by new signings in pre-season

Mark Schwarzer: Optimistic about Fulham¿s chances for the new season

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Mark Schwarzer has set his sights on another solid campaign for Fulham after insisting that pre-season preparations are going well.

The Cottagers finished ninth last season despite an exhausting schedule that saw them enter the Europa League qualifying rounds in June.

They have had the chance to refresh this summer and Schwarzer is confident of building on the achievements of last term.

"It's been going well," the 39-year-old goalkeeper told the official website. "We've had two pre-season camps - one in Germany and one in Switzerland - and they've been good.

"Overall we were all very satisfied with the way the season ended up.

"To finish ninth - and we were very close to finishing seventh - when we started our first game in June was excellent. To have such a long season and still finish in the top half was a credit to everyone at the club.

"This season we want to again finish in the top half of the table and to continue to be an established Premier League team.

"It's going to be tough and every season it gets tougher. Teams are investing in new players and the quality of the league is always getting better but we need to make sure we continue doing what we've been doing the last couple of seasons."

Vital

It has been a busy summer at Fulham with players coming and going, but Schwarzer insists the new arrivals have settled in quickly.

Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega have already shown good form up front in pre-season, while full-back Sascha Riether has also impressed Schwarzer.

"They've done really well," he said. "If you look at the scoresheet, Mladen's been on it just about every time so it's pretty obvious he's settled in very, very well.

"Hugo scored the other night at MK Dons and it looks like he's back to fitness. It's vital for us to have strikers who score goals.

"And Sascha Riether has done well at right-back. He's settled in well and it's like he's been here for a long time."