Davies backs Fulham fringe men to shine

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Simon Davies believes Fulham can prevail in Thursday night's Europa League clash with CSKA Sofia despite fielding a weakened side.

Wales midfielder Davies and defender John Pantsil are the only first-team regulars who have travelled to Bulgaria for the club's Group E opener. CSKA top their domestic league but Davies insists Fulham should not be daunted - even if they are missing key players such Andrew Johnson, Danny Murphy and Brede Hangeland.

"It's going to be a big test, whoever came out for us," said Davies, who has recently returned from a foot injury that forced him to miss the start of the season. "Away European fixtures are always tough. I've known that through international games."

He added: "The lads here are going to get valuable experience from it but I'm sure the manager wouldn't have brought us if he didn't think we were capable of winning the game.

"We'll be well prepared and as always we'll be well organised so I'm sure we'll be capable of coming away with something.

"I'll try to pass on my experience but it's difficult, the lads we've got in the squad are good players, they wouldn't be here otherwise.

"You pick up things as you go along but it's going to be a different sort of game to English league football.

"It's a bit slower in Europe, the final third is where it all happens and you have to be on your game at both ends."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Europa League
John Pantsil
Premier League
Simon Davies
Brede Hangeland
Andrew Johnson

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