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By ESPN Staff

Schwarzer opens contract talks with Fulham

Fulham are in talks with Mark Schwarzer about a new contract to keep the veteran goalkeeper at Craven Cottage beyond 2010.

Schwarzer, who has another season left on his current deal, has helped put the club on the brink of European qualification and is set to be rewarded with fresh terms.

"There's been a few discussions,'' he told the Fulham Chronicle. "And I feel as good, if not better, than when I first signed for Fulham. At this stage in my career, if the manager backs you and you continue to play week in, week out, then why not continue to play for as long as possible?''

Schwarzer was recruited as a free transfer from Middlesbrough last summer and puts the club's consistency down to manager Roy Hodgson.

"He's calm and modest, and that filters down to the players, but he makes us conscious about keeping our heads down and concentrating right to the end of every game,'' Schwarzer said.

Given their goal difference, Fulham realistically only need a point against Everton at the weekend to get in the Europa League.

"A lot has been said about Everton taking it easy before they play the FA Cup final the following week but the flip side is they want to finish fifth,'' Schwarzer said.

"They've been fighting for that place and there are financial rewards both for the club and players personally - so they're not going to give us an easy game.''

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