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Hangeland taking cautious approach
Fulham skipper Brede Hangeland is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he plots a route through the Barclays Premier League maze.
The 32-year-old Norwegian left Newcastle on Saturday evening a frustrated man after seeing his side go within four minutes of returning with a point until Hatem Ben Arfa blasted the Magpies to victory.
However, Hangeland is pragmatic enough to know that the first task for Fulham, and indeed many of their Premier League colleagues, is to ensure their continued participation in the top flight.
He said: "I don't speak in big words. We are very modest and we know how tough this league is, so my aim is to try to get 40 points, and the sooner the better.
"Hopefully we can do that quite early and kick on from there, but I know there are loads of big clubs and they are all spending money - probably more than us, all of them - so we need to keep our feet on the ground."
Fulham boss Martin Jol has enlisted the services of England striker Darren Bent in a bid to aid that process, and although the 29-year-old had few opportunities to make his mark against the club who had been rivals for his signature, Hangeland is confident he will make a significant difference at Craven Cottage.
He said: "He's a first-class guy who works really hard and gives us that thing we have lacked, which is a little bit of penetration and runs in behind, so we are delighted to have him with us."
Hard work was a feature of Fulham's display at St James' Park as they soaked up the home side's pressure comfortably before the break.
Keeper David Stockdale plucked Mathieu Debuchy's long-range effort out of the air and then blocked Papiss Cisse's shot from a tight angle with his chest, but was otherwise largely untroubled.
The pressure mounted after the break, particularly after Alan Pardew introduced want-away midfielder Yohan Cabaye and Yoan Gouffran, and later loan signing Loic Remy.
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