Fulham target turning form into points

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen is looking to add points to performances as the Cottagers aim to climb out of the relegation zone over Christmas.

Trips to Norwich and Hull follow a tricky run of fixtures for Meulensteen’s side in which Fulham have won just once in their last nine outings — losing the other eight.

But, following Saturday’s 4-2 defeat by Manchester City, Meulensteen believes Fulham are now entering a crucial period where more points can be accrued.

“I really see those four games we have just had as four difficult ones,” he said.

“Taking over somewhere just before halfway in the season is difficult enough itself and then you end up Spurs, Villa, Everton and City where three of those four teams are pushing for something.

“We knew they were difficult ones but what we are disappointed about is, on the back of the performances, we had, is that we didn’t get more points out of those games.

“Now we have another block of games with different opponents — Norwich and Hull to start and then West Ham and Sunderland.

“That is now where we need to look back to these previous games and those performances and turn them into results.”

Fulham’s chances in their St Stephen’s Day clash at Carrow Road could be bolstered by the return from injury of Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian striker missed the defeat to City after picking up an injury the day before.

But Meulensteen is hopeful he with have one of his main men back.

“He has responded well to the treatment in his right abductor but we don’t want to be taking any risks. Hopefully we can welcome him back for the Norwich game. He has a fairly good chance.”

Meulensteen confirmed protracted negotiations to bring Clint Dempsey are ongoing but he is not getting himself involved in the paperwork to see the former Fulham man return on a short-term loan deal from Major League Soccer franchise the Seattle Sounders.

“I can confirm the medical and paperwork is still ongoing,” he added.

“We’d like to have him here and he would like to come.”

On Saturday champions Manchester United travel to Norfolk, but Norwich boss Chris Hughton views Fulham as the key fixture as the 14th place Canaries seek to continue their climb away from relegation.

“The most important game is Fulham because that’s the next one,” he said.

“United have the biggest threat in the two games, but the moment you enter a match thinking one will be easier than the other, it will smack you in the face.

“Fulham are in the area of the table we are so it’s important for us.”


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