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Hughes: Johnson is man on a mission
Published : 19 Mar 2011 10:00:11
Andy Johnson will have a point to prove when he returns to former club Everton on Saturday night, according to Fulham boss Mark Hughes.
Johnson was sold by the Toffees two-and-a-half years ago but injury has meant he has only faced them twice since. His sole game at Goodison Park for Fulham, in November 2008, ended in defeat but manager Hughes reckons the 30-year-old is now ready to show Everton exactly what they have been missing.
"He's obviously an ex-player and he's looking forward to going back," Hughes said. "He had a good time there and I think he enjoyed being an Everton player. It's always good for a player to go back and I think it's in the back of a player's mind that you want to show people you've moved and improved as a player they once remember."
He added: "That's the attitude a lot of players will try and show and certainly AJ, given his attitude to work and the way he approaches games, he's very much in that mould. He'll want to show everyone how good he is."
Fulham may need a strong performance from Johnson if they are to put right their miserable record at Goodison Park.
The Cottagers have never won there in the league and have lost every Barclays Premier League game they have played at the ground, but Fulham have begun to pick up points on their travels in recent times and Hughes challenged his side to carry that form into Saturday's game.
"Our record at Everton's not very good at all," he said. "I don't think we've actually won in the Premier League and I think I'm right in saying we've not even got a point from our travels to Goodison Park.
"If we can change that then that shows that we've been making some kind of progress."
Bobby Zamora will continue his comeback from the bench, with the striker close to being ready to start for the first time since breaking his leg in September.
Hughes said: "We're really pleased where he is at the moment and he's very positive in his own mind, which is important after a serious injury. He's obviously going to start games before the end of the season."