Hughes stays positive

30 December 2010 05:00
Manager Mark Hughes is convinced he can silence his critics by dragging Fulham up the Barclays Premier League table in 2011. The Welshman has found life tough at Fulham since his appointment and his side will start the new year in the relegation zone after winning just three of their opening 19 league games. The picture at Craven Cottage could not have been more different 12 months ago when, under Roy Hodgson, the west Londoners were ninth in the league and had just qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League. Despite the 2-0 win at Stoke, Fulham remain serious relegation candidates but under-pressure Hughes is sure the Cottagers will have a better second half of the season - and his managerial record suggests he may well be right. Throughout his five seasons in club management, Hughes' sides have always won more matches in the second half of the season than the first. That, Hughes insists, means Fulham stand a good chance of climbing the division next year. "We are obviously frustrated because of the situation we find ourselves in at the moment but the second half is likely to give us more enjoyment and success than the first half," Hughes said. "The frustration we felt in the first half will disappear, we'll get players back and we'll kick on in the second half of the season because invariably teams that are managed by me are stronger in the second half of the season. We are more than capable of really kicking on next year."

Source: PA