English Premiership

Fulham a step closer to safety

2014-04-13 12:00
Felix Magath (AFP)

London - Fulham manager Felix Magath is confident his side can complete the task of avoiding relegation from the Premier League, a feat that appeared to be beyond the London club just a few weeks ago.

A goal from Hugo Rodallega, the Colombia forward, was enough to beat Norwich City -- the club directly above them in the table - 1-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

That added to last week's win at Aston Villa, where Rodallega also scored the decisive goal, means that although Fulham are still in the bottom three, they are now only two points behind Norwich with four games remaining.

Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion are now three points ahead of them.

"There is still hope," said Magath, the former Bayern Munich manager.

"In the last weeks I was hopeful we would be able to manage the situation and win some games and now we have won two games in a row. It helps us to be confident.

"And now there are more people than four weeks ago who are thinking we will stay in the league. We didn't play so well but there was a lot of pressure on the players. At the moment, three points is the only thing that counts.

"Two wins in a row is very nice but it is not enough to stay up so we have to take care we get more points."

Norwich manager Neil Adams, who replaced the sacked Chris Hughton six days before the Fulham match, knows his side have the toughest run-in of all the teams in relegation danger as they must play leaders Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Adams, who dropped captain Sebastien Bassong while making six changes to the last team Hughton picked, saw his players create a number of clear chances but fail to beat David Stockdale, the Fulham goalkeeper.

The former Norwich midfielder, who was promoted from youth coach, admitted that the fixture list was daunting but felt he had seen enough fight from his players to be confident of picking up points.

"I couldn't ask for any more, I really couldn't," Adams said. "They realise the situation we are in and I thought we got it tactically spot on.

"We dominated for long periods of the game, we had chances and we haven't taken them, which is what ultimately cost us," he added.

"We have a dressing room full of desperately sad people but if we can stick with that level of commitment we will have a great chance and give it a good go.

"We have got four huge games now against four of the best teams in Europe, not just in England, but the main positive thing is what we have just seen. We just needed goals to finish it off."

Fulham's run-in sees them play Tottenham, Hull City and Stoke City before a last-day assignment at home to south London side Crystal Palace.

Read more on:    fulham  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
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