Fulham manager Mark Hughes will not be underestimating Sunderland when he takes his side to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is facing an injury crisis up front with Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck and Frazier Campbell all out of the match this weekend, but Hughes knows his opposite number and old Manchester United team-mate will have something up his sleeve.
“Sunderland are down on numbers in terms of who they can play outfield and that will help us but I’m sure Steve has a game plan what he will implement to try and beat us,” Hughes said.
“I’m sure he would prefer to have those quality players available and if we play as well as we have in the last couple of games then it will take a good team to beat us.”
Fulham go into the match on the back of a solid 3-0 home win over Bolton which makes it six wins from their last seven matches in front of their own fans.
The victory took Hughes’ side to 42 points for the season – beyond the traditional benchmark of 40 normally required for Premier league survival – however the Welshman has urged his team not get complacent against Sunderland despite seemingly having avoided relegation.
“We need to go on the road and replicate our form at Craven Cottage. The key is placing demands on our team and not taking your foot off the pedal,” he said.
“There’s no difference to what my team are doing now than what they were doing at the start of the season.”
“It’s important to have continuity and a good quality of work – we’ve got two big games coming up (against Sunderland then home to Liverpool) and we’re going to see the season though to its conclusion and see where it takes us.”
Bobby Zamora is expected to lead the line for Fulham on Saturday after making a cameo appearance from the bench against Bolton due to a slight back problem, and could be partnered by Eidur Gudjohnsen who has started the last two games.
Clint Dempsey will be looking to add to his twelve goals already this season, as well as cement his place as Fulham’s record Premier League goalscorer after bagging his 33rd strike for the West London club against Bolton midweek.
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