Fulham boss Mark Hughes says Fulham’s comfortable 3-0 win over Bolton has vindicated his belief that the Cottagers are a top-10 side.
Goals in either half to American Clint Dempsey and a Brede Hangeland header handed the Londoners the three points on Wednesday and also propelled them into the top half, effectively slimming their chances of an unlikely drop into the English Premier League’s relegation zone, with only four games remaining in the season.
Former Manchester City boss and Manchester United player Hughes was delighted with his troops’ showing.
“We were excellent. We are in the top 10 now,” the Welshman told the BBC. “I think it’s only the second time this year that we’ve been in the top 10 and now it is up to us to make sure we stay there until the end of the season.”
“You have had heard me time and time again say that I felt we are a top-10 side (and) I think we proved that again tonight. We have got good quality, we play the right way and I think we deserve to be in the top 10.”
“I thought some of the play we produced was excellent and thankfully tonight we added goals to the quality of our play. It is very satisfying for everybody.”
Bolton manager Owen Coyle expressed disappointment with his side’s spurning of the chance to move into seventh.
“Certainly it is disappointing,” Coyle told Sky Sports. “We came here to try win the game and we could have moved to seventh.
“We know Fulham are a good side. They have been in good form at home, but from our point of view we have lost three goals from set-plays and that is disappointing in any game. But I can’t deny Fulham deserved the win.”
Coyle partially attributed the side’s loss of personnel through injury, with Daniel Sturridge unable to start the game and in race for fitness ahead of their league clash with Blackburn on Saturday.
“Ultimately I’m disappointed to have lost this game and we are not making excuses, but we have players dropping like flies. But there is no debating that Fulham deserved the three points,” he said.
“Time will tell and (midfielder) Mark Davies is the same. (The players) have been terrific all season but that happens to everyone all season and we didn’t deal with that tonight.”
“(It’s as) simple as that.”
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