Martin Jol has urged his side to focus on winning five more matches to ensure they do not get dragged into a relegation battle.
Fulham currently have 28 points from 25 matches and face a tricky trip to Norwich at the weekend where defeat could see them drop close to the relegation zone.
Jol wants the Cottagers to reach 36 points as soon as possible to all but secure their Premier League survival but he knows there are likely to be surprises along the way.
"If you leave it until the end of the season you've always got a problem; you don't want that," Jol said.
"What I always say is get to 35, 36 points as soon as possible, before the last couple of months of the season.
"We need four, five wins, and 40 points is the focus and target for us.
"I have been in this business longer than most managers and abroad you can say the bottom three at winter are likely to go down.
"But in England there are always surprises."
Jol believes good team spirit is a must if a team is going to beat the drop and he is confident his squad are fully focused on doing all they can to get the wins on the board.
"With the amount of points we've got now, you go down," the Dutchman added.
"You need fighting spirit in every game. This is the highest level and we want to get out of trouble as soon as possible, like seven, eight, nine other teams.
"You need very good spirit to do that and if you look at the other teams, they've certainly got that. If you look at the likes of Reading, winning games, Southampton, looking good, and, of course, Norwich are dragged into it.
"Everyone is still aware of the fact they need to win as soon as possible."