Schwarzer loving fixture pile-up

The Cottagers are nearing the end of a five-week period which has

seen them play a match virtually every three days. They have

thrived under the pressure, reaching the quarter-finals of the FA

Cup and then humbling Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in the first leg of

their Europa League last 32 match on Thursday. And rather than

complain about the fixture list, Schwarzer is pleased to see the

matchesarriving thick and fast. “If you don’t enjoy this as a

footballer then when are you going to enjoy your football?” said

the Australian. “This is what it’s all about, playing games, and

playing in Europe and playing in the FA Cup and playing in the

Premier League. “It’s the best life to have and I’m enjoying it, at

the young and tender age of 37.” Schwarzer, who pulled off a

marvellous injury-time save to deny Shakhtar a draw, admits next

Thursday’s second leg at the Donbass Arena will test Fulham’s

Europa League ambitions to the limit. “It’s about balance. Okay, we

scored two goals on Thursday but we also conceded. Now they only

need to score one goal,” he said. “It would have been nice to have

won 2-0 ahead and then all of a sudden they’ve got to score two

goals. “But if we score over there, all of a sudden it changes the

picture a little bit. It’s going to be tough for us. “We’ve got a

slightly important Premier League game against Birmingham in

between but then hopefully we can go there and continue on the

journey that we’ve been having.”