Chris Hughton feels that Fulham have grown as a team over the last few season.
The nucleas of the side assembled by former boss Jean Tigana remain at the club and the benefits of that are being reaped by his replacement Chris Coleman. Fulham currently sit seventh in the Premiership table after an encouraging first half of the season.
"I think they have made progress over the last few years and, if you look at some of their players, they have really sort of grown over that time," pondered the first team coach.
"Malbranque is one that comes to mind for me and he has got better and better in the time he has been there.
"They have had a good season and the signs were there in our home game. We actually started quite well before they took a grip and looked a really good side."
Fulham suffered a blow this week with the departure of star striker Louis Saha to Manchester United and Chris suspects they will miss his influence - although new signing Brian McBride should make his debut against us.
"They have got quality, that we are sure of. I think the loss of Saha will be a blow for them because he was having a good season and will be missed.
"They have a work ethic in the team, are one of the sharpest sides that I've seen for a while and, amongst all that, they have players that can keep hold of the ball.
"They have been a good footballing side for a few years and have now perhaps added a bit more pace into the side in the respect of closing down."