Mark Hughes Image 1
MARK Hughes reckons that if Fulham score first – they will beat West Ham on Boxing Day. The Whites boss is certain his team will shoot up the league if they seize the initiative rather than having to chase games, and denied his job is at risk despite Fulham hovering just outside the relegation places on goal difference only.
He said: “It’s been the case in recent weeks that we needed a break to get our noses in front, and then I’m sure we would see games out.
“At the moment we aren’t experienced in that. In terms of how we are playing, if you look at our record we have been beaten five times – but four of those games were against teams in the top five.
“We are very competitive against the rest, and on our day we can beat the top teams as well.”
Talk of becoming the latest managerial casualty in the Premiership cut no ice with Hughes – although he admitted the loss of Bobby Zamora, Mousa Dembele to go with a struggling Andy Johnson, have contributed massively to the mere 10 goals scored at Craven Cottage this season.
He added: “We aren’t scoring enough goals due to the personnel missing.
“We remain positive. And a good starting point would be to win our game against West Ham, which we feel we are very capable of.
“This time last year we went on a poor run, but we don’t anticipate that being the case this year.
“There will always be speculation – and there’s nothing I can do about it.
“I haven’t spoken to the chairman this week, and it hasn’t been discussed with me. All I can do is make sure the team is in the best possible shape.”
Dembele has only a ’50-50’ chance of facing the Premiership’s bottom side, while Zamora Philippe Senderos and Matthew Briggs are all out with long-term injuries.”