Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)  (Read 9311 times)

White Noise

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2011, 07:53:46 AM »

Loaner Report 4/28/11

Filed under: General — timmyg @ 2:46 pm

Diomansy Kamara started and played 75 minutes in Leicester City’s 3-2 loss at Nottingham Forest on Good Friday. He did not dress in the Foxes’ 4-2 over Watford on Easter Monday.

Kagisho Dikgacoi started and played 90 minutes in Crystal Palace’s 0-0 draw atDoncaster on Good Friday. He then started and played 76 minutes in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Leeds on Easter Monday.

Eddie Johnson started and played 90 minutes in Preston North End’s 4-0 loss at Milwall on Good Friday. He did not dress in PNE’s 1-0 loss to Cardiff on Easter Monday. PNE have been officially relegated from the Championship.

Bjorn Helge Riise came off the bench in the 75th minute in Sheffield United’s 3-2 win overBristolCity on Good Friday. He then started, played 90 minutes, and registered an assist in the Blades’ 3-2 win atReading on Easter Monday. Although still mathematically alive, Sheffield United needs to win out, have Doncaster lose out, and overcome a -8 GD to survive the drop.

Lauri Dalla Valle came off the bench in the 82nd minute in Bournemouth’s 2-2 draw at Yeovil on Good Friday. He was an unused substitute in Bournemouth’s 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers on Easter Monday.

Keanu Marsh-Brown came off the bench in the 62nd in the MK Dons’ 3-1 loss to Huddersfield on Good Friday. He then came off the bench in the 68th minute in the MK Dons’ 1-0 loss at Plymouth on Easter Monday.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2011, 07:55:14 AM »

Hughes turns his attention to summer transfers after Fulham's survival secured

By talkSPORT

Thursday, April 28

Fulham manager Mark Hughes has already begun eyeing up his summer transfers as he looks to bolster his squad for next season.

Hughes' side flirted with relegation earlier on in the campaign but a comfortable 3-0 win against Bolton on Wednesday put his side in the top half of the table.

The Welshman bolstered his ranks earlier this month with the signing of Steve Sidwell on a three-year deal, however Eidur Gudjohnsen's short-term contract from Stoke expires in the summer and Gael Kakuta will be forced to return to Chelsea in June after a loan spell at Craven Cottage.

Fulham have been linked with Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-phillips since January and Hughes is beginning to narrow his search for potential targets he wants to bring to the club.

"We are looking at players and it's an ongoing process," he said "There's opportunities from now until the end of the season to have a last look [at players] and I'll be going out to matches.

"This time of year you're focus starts to get a bit more narrow and you start to see where you're going in the market," he added.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2011, 07:57:44 AM »

The Fulham Who are You?: ‘a bad time to play us’

A Fulham supporter whose photos have graced these pages was all lined up, then went AWOL. Just when we thought we’d have to run the spoof Lily Allen interview all over again, Sean Collins popped up – courtesy of the Fulhamfc site, to which huge thanks for indulging a Mackem in despair – with these instant, and therefore all the more appreciated, responses. We could, however, have done without his score forecast …

Salut! Sunderland: You drew against one relegation struggler at the weekend, we finally won against another struggler and you had a great result last night. A good time or bad time for us to have you up at the Stadium of Light?

A bad time in my opinion for Sunderland, due to a mixture of your unfortunate injuries and our players that have come back from injury looking sharper, the likes of Zamora, and especially Simon Davies who was exceptional last night.

What, then, is the legacy of Roy Hodgson, the Fulham view of him now and the verdict on Mark Hughes so far?

The legacy of Roy will always stay as it was, a stand-out period in the club’s history and done with honest hard work and genuine team spirit. Mark Hughes took a while to grow into the job, a task made harder by injuries to key players, but he now seems to be stamping his own authority on the side and a top 10 finish would be respectable.

What were your minimum and maximum expectations when the season began and how do you feel about the way things have gone, with the season just a few games away from being over?

The expectation was obviously raised after last season’s brilliant achievements and it was a bitter pill to swallow when Roy decided to jump ship, so some of the expectations were mixed but a top 10 finish and a cup run were, as in any season really, the expectations, and after beating Spurs 4-0 it looked possible but we never seemed to kick on from that result. So in the end staying up was the priority and re-grouping for next season.

What is your assessment of the money, commitment and impact of Mohamed al Fayed? And what did you make of the Michael Jackson tribute and the challenge thrown down to any supporters who might disapprove?

The commitment of AL Fayed is second to none and the man is a legend at the Cottage and always will be. We the fans are forever indebted to him and the challenge thrown down should be taken tongue in cheek; a few fans have voiced their discontent but I stress a few – and I dare say the statue may grow on the fans and also bring along new fans.

Sunderland/Fulham links abound: Lee Clark, Paul Bracewell, Steed Malbranque, Andy Melville … the brain is tired but I know there are plenty I’ve overlooked. Any special memories of, or thoughts on, any of them?

Lee Clark and Steed both influential midfielders in their time at the club, Clarky the first goal in our famous 3-1 at Old Trafford, and Steed was a fans’ favourite for numerous moments, just a shame he never really fulfilled his potential since leaving. Melville or Mellvino as he was affectionately known was a solid Championship player who made a decent transition to Premier defender for our first few years in the top flight. Bracewell was a better player than manager is what I will say on him.

And what about past SAFC v Fulham encounters, home or away. Do any stick especially in the mind and were you there for the game abandoned in the snow?

I was not there for the abandoned game. Game that sticks in the mind is the April 08 game at the cottage which we lost 3-1 – I thought that dampened the great escape but it gave the players the kick in the butt they needed!

What was the European cup competition experience like for you and how much of it were you able to follow?

I went to Juventus away, Hamburg away and all the homes games from group and final stages. All I will say is: amazing experience and the final was the best day in my life and was so proud of the team and the fantastic support we gave and the Lemon Chello shots in Juventus made it!

Lily in Hamburg image:

Maybe that was one of the highs of your history as a supporter but describe any others, and the lows.

Other highs are breaking several records in winning the championship highlight being Sean Davis goal against then 2nd placed Blackburn, in 4th minute of injury time especially as Souness had created a bit of needle between the two clubs, so extra satisfaction there. The lows there has been a few… but has to be losing at home to Scunthorpe 2-1 and being 91st in the football league, but sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to come back up!

Who are the best players you’ve seen in Fulham colours and who should have been allowed nowhere near them?

Best Players I have seen are- Louis Saha, Chris Coleman, Brian Mcbride and Edwin Van der sar. Players that should not have been allowed near the team- Hameur Bouazza, and Dejan Stefanovic.

Is there anyone in the Sunderland squad you’d like at Craven Cottage?


And do you have any thoughts on SAFC, the club, the fans, the city, the region?

A good well run club and an established Premier team with a great chairman who is a football man. The city is a fun place and a pleasure to visit for an away day.

Is Chelsea as fierce a rivalry for you as Newcastle is for us?

For us Fulham fans every bit.

Name this season’s top four in order and also the bottom three. Where will Fulham and Sunderland finish?

Manchester United, Chelski, Man City, Arsenal.

Wolves, Blackburn, Wigan.

Fulham 9th , Sunderland 12th.

It was the Eduardo question, is now the Walcott question. What did you make of Theo’s admission and apology about diving in hope of winning a penalty: brave or foolish? And has cheating of all kinds – diving, feigning injury, sly tugs, trying to get opponents booked or sent off – become so prevalent that we should simply accept it as apart of the modern game?

Unfortunately it is part of the game and we can only hope the referees are given all the help and extra vision available to mediate this in our game.

How disappointed were you with the Fifa decision on the 2018 World Cup venue?

It was a big shame as it was us, the current fans and our younger generation a chance to experience the unique vibrants that the tournament brings and the passion so many fans can offer from the greatest league in the world.

Will you be at our game? If not how will you keep tabs, and what will be the score?

I hope to be at the game and think that Fulham will win 2-0. Davies and Gudjohnsen.

* Sean Collins – also pictured in Hamburg – on Sean Collins:

Fulham supporter of 20 years and to give you an insight into what to expect, my dad took me to my first game against Brentford and told me not expect goals galore… Fulham being Fulham conceded after 30 secs, I was hooked somehow!! Hamburg will always live in the memory as was the journey, a life experience also!!

Interview: Colin Randall

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2011, 07:59:07 AM »

Fulham loan star Kakuta pleads for more game time

By talkSPORT

Thursday, April 28

On-loan midfielder Gael Kakuta has told manager Mark Hughes to give him more time on the pitch in an attempt to help Fulham finish the season as strongly as possible.

The Frenchman - on a short-term deal at Craven Cottage from Chelsea until the end of the season - has played a bit-part role this campaign as Fulham have pulled away from the relegation dog-fight to sit ninth in the table.

However, the 19-year-old wants to make his mark at Fulham before his loan deal expires in the summer.

"We want to finish as high as we can and it's my hope to be involved in more games as the season draws to an end," said Kakuta.

"I'm enjoying my time at Fulham, where I feel I have improved as a player, and would love to play my part in what will be a strong finish to the season.

"The league is still very tight and I think it could be an exciting end to the season for a lot of clubs," he added.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2011, 08:00:07 AM »

Villa target Everton boss Moyes, Fulham manager Hughes

April 28, 2011, 11:05 pm

Aston Villa are thinking big as they consider replacing Gerard Houllier following the manager's heart scare last week.

The Sun says Villa want Mark Hughes or David Moyes as their new manager - if stricken Gerard Houllier is forced to quit after his latest heart scare.

Fulham boss Hughes and Everton's Moyes are top of owner Randy Lerner's hitlist as he waits to see whether Houllier will be fit enough to stand the stresses and strains of Premier League management again.

Hughes was hand-picked by Lerner to replace Martin O'Neill when the Irishman quit last August. But the Villa owner turned to Houllier because Sparky, 47, felt unable to leave Fulham after just two months in charge.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 08:37:01 AM by White Noise »

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2011, 08:02:48 AM »

Stockdale denies claims he wants out of Fulham

By talkSPORT

Thursday, April 28

Fulham's back-up goalkeeper David Stockdale has expressed his long-term commitment to the club, but wants to go out on loan next season.

The England stopper, who was called into the national side for their friendly against Denmark in February but didn't play, told of his frustration earlier this month at playing second fiddle to current No. 1 Mark Schwarzer, hinting he could leave the club as a result.

However the 25-year-old, has now revealed he wants to forge a career at Craven Cottage.

I can see why people thought I was suggesting I wanted to leave but that's not what I meant - I'm very, very happy here

David Stockdale

"I can see why people thought I was suggesting I wanted to leave but that's not what I meant - I'm very, very happy here." Stockdale said. "I want to be a Fulham player for a long time to come.

"Any player that says they don't mind sitting on the bench is a liar; we all want to be playing and I'm no different.

"I've been out on loan before so maybe that is a possibility for next season - a Premier League club could be good and would benefit myself and the team as well.

"But I don't want to be someone who came in and did well, but then is forgotten about - I'm very passionate about representing Fulham," he added.

Since signing for Fulham from Darlington in 2008, Stockdale has spent time on loan at Rotherham, Leicester and Plymouth Argyle and has a contract with Mark Hughes' side until 2013.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 08:39:00 AM by White Noise »

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2011, 08:05:46 AM »

Sharpshooter Clint sets sights on Europe as he guns down Bolton

David Smith

28 Apr 2011

Mark Hughes eyes top 10 after Dempsey double

Having all but secured Fulham's place among English football's elite for another season, record-breaking goalscorer Clint Dempsey believes the west London side can again earn the right to become a force in Europe.

Dempsey's brace in the 3-0 demolition of Bolton at Craven Cottage last night established the popular American as Fulham's top scorer in the Premier League era, his tally of 33 goals taking him past the previous best mark shared by Steed Malbranque and Brian McBride.

"It's good to be in that company," he said. "I was fired up to get goals against Bolton because I hadn't scored in three games and I was starting to itch a little bit, starting to feel the pressure that I needed to perform.

"So it was good to be a part of the team's success and get the three points that takes us into the top half of the table."

Fulham, stranded in the relegation zone following a desperate home defeat against West Ham on Boxing Day, are now a respectable ninth in the table with 42 points and "absolutely" safe, according to manager Mark Hughes.

Although not yet mathematically safe, Fulham will be eyeing a respectable final position in the table with games against Sunderland, Liverpool, Birmingham and Arsenal to come.

Dempsey said: "We're trying to make sure we finish in the top half because we have the quality in our side that means we should be a team in the top half."

Even before Hughes goes shopping in the summer transfer market, Dempsey also claimed that Fulham already possess the potential to earn a prized place in Europe through their final Premier League position come May next year, raising the possibility of a repeating last season's charge to the Europa League Final.

He said: "I'd like to think we can do what we've done in the past, that we could be fighting in Europe. I don't think last season was a fluke. We have the quality here to do it again."

Before then, of course, Fulham may sneak through the backdoor into the forthcoming Europa League by way of the UEFA and FA Fair Play leagues. The possibility excited Dempsey until Standard Sport informed him that the first leg of the first qualifying round kicked off absurdly early, on Thursday June 30, slap bang in the second week of the Wimbledon tennis championships and a full six weeks before the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Dempsey's diary already shows him playing for the United States in the Gold Cup that starts on June 5, just a fortnight after the end of the current Premier League season, and climaxes in a final at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California 20 days later.

"We take the Gold Cup seriously," he said. "If we win, it puts us in the Confederation Cup the year before the 2014 World Cup.

"If all this happens, I wouldn't have much of a break at all and you do need a break otherwise your body will start to deteriorate and break down during the season."

Dempsey's impossible schedule is a problem that Hughes will have deal with if, as seems likely, his side's place in the 2011/2012 Europa League is confirmed when the final Fair Play tables are published early next month.

For now, the Fulham manager is simply happy to heap praise on his players, who might have exacted even greater revenge for an FA Cup defeat at the hands of Bolton had the woodwork not denied the excellent Mousa Dembele and the eager Eidur Gudjohnsen.

As it was, Owen Coyle's typically physical side was undone by Dempsey's spectacular first-half volley, his second just after the break when he pounced on Gudjohnsen's flick and finally a bullet-like header from Brede Hangeland, who was picked out by Danny Murphy's perfectly flighted free-kick.

Hughes said: "I thought some of the play we produced was excellent. We proved again that we have good quality, we play the right way and we deserve to be in the top 10 of the Premier League.

"It is up to us now to make sure that we remain there until the end of the season because that's certainly where I feel we should be."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2011, 08:07:33 AM »

Fulham ace pleads for Euro break

Author:  Nigel Brown

Posted on:28 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

US star Clint Dempsey has suggested Fulham should leave him out of their Europa League plans if they gain the UEFA Fair Play place.

The US international is due to play for his country in their Concacaf Gold Cup campaign and says he would need a break to recharge his batteries, after a tough year, when the Cottagers would be playing in the early rounds of the Europa League.

"I haven't had much of a rest in the summer since I came to Fulham," said Dempsey.

"I guess a career is not that long - but I do need a bit of break, hopefully the 17-19 days that's normal to recharge the batteries."

Fulham could be back in action as soon as late June if they are confirmed as the Premier League recipient of UEFA's Fair Play places in the competition, which they will unless Manchester United have a disciplinary nightmare in their remaining European matches - or Fulham drop in the domestic Fair Play table.

"There would not be much for a break for me," said Dempsey.

"The Gold Cup is important for the USA and it's not due to end until June 26 or 28, although it would be exciting to be back in Europe."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2011, 08:13:10 AM »

Houllier exit may open Villa door for British duo

Author:  Ben Moss

Posted on:28 April 2011 - 11:40 AM

Everton's David Moyes and Fulham's Mark Hughes top Aston Villa's wanted list if current manager Gerard Houllier is forced to quit.

The Frenchman has had a health scare and the fear is that he may not be able to carry on with the day to day running of a Premier League side, although he remains confident he will be fine.

But, if Houllier quits on medical grounds, Villa are set to go British with his replacement, according to the Sun newspaper, who claim that man could be either Glaswegian Moyes or Welshman Hughes.

Moyes has been in charge at Goodison Park for nine years but has been linked, on a number of occasions, with a move away this summer as he is thought be getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of funds available to him at the club.

To add to the complication it is claimed Everton will only allow Moyes to leave if they can persuade former Villa boss Martin O'Neill to take over which, if the reports about a lack of money to spend are to be believed, appears to be an unlikely scenario.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2011, 08:13:58 AM »

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2011, 08:15:01 AM »

Fulham are no soft touch - Hughes

By Jacob Murtagh

Apr 28 2011

THEY might be on the verge of a place in the Europa League through the Fair Play scheme – but Mark Hughes reckons Fulham's win against Bolton proves his side can rough it in the Premier League.

Clint Dempsey's double and a Brede Hangeland header earned the Whites a comfortable victory at Craven Cottage to end their relegation worries as they climbed into the top 10.

"I thought we were excellent," said Fulham boss Hughes.

"It was a different test for us in regards to the approach and what we had to face. At the weekend against Wolves I thought we were excellent in terms of getting the ball down and playing, passing and probing.

"We obviously had to face up to the physical question Bolton asked of us.

"I know people say Bolton have changed their approach under Owen Coyle's leadership, and they have to a certain extent, but they still play to their strengths as well.

"You know you are going to have to deal with balls into the box and Kevin Davies is very adept at flicking things on.

"After four or five minutes I think we dealt with that really well. I thought some of our play was excellent and we added goals to the quality as well."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2011, 09:03:21 AM »

Breaking Through

Friday 29th April 2011

How far David Stockdale goes in the game remains to be seen, but he will always look back on the current campaign as his breakthrough season.

For without doubt, the 25-year-old has emerged as a credible contender for Fulham’s number one jersey - impressing with a series of performances that have defied his relative big match inexperience and path from the backwaters of non-league football.

Prior to the start of the season, he had made just three appearances for the Whites; a league win against Everton on his debut and subsequent action in the Europa League and Carling Cup following his arrival from Darlington in June 2008.

Demonstrating an assured reading of play, a bold command of his box and an innate capacity for a spectacular save, Stockdale has risen to become one of the country’s most highly-rated young goalkeepers.

A solitary defeat and five clean sheets from the 10 games that he has been part of this term, including a game-changing penalty save in the 2-2 home draw against Manchester United and a string of vital stops, have contributed much toward his growing reputation – not to mention his England call-up.

“It’s been an incredible nine months or so,” reflects David. “As a result I think I will look back on the current season as the one when I made my breakthrough, definitely. It’s the one in which I have been able to show what I can do.

“I have proven that I am capable of making the step up, something that some people rightly questioned. I was unproven at the top and although I had played a fair bit of football, it had all been outside of the Premier League.”

Having spent three seasons at York City and a further two at Darlington, Stockdale has worked his way up through the leagues, spending time on loan at non-league clubs Wakefield & Emley, and Worksop Town.

His subsequent time at Fulham has also encompassed three loan spells, the ‘keeper spending time at Rotherham, Leicester and Plymouth. Experiencing respective promotion and relegation with the latter two, it has been a testing, yet rewarding football education.

“I’ve done the rounds, that’s for sure,” he admits. “Some players are very lucky in the sense that they get picked up by a big club from a young age and it works out for them. Every player wants to play at the top, but for some, it takes a bit longer than it does for others.

“There were ups and downs and, of course, being relegated with Plymouth at the end of last season hurt – even though I was only a player on loan. But they were all experiences that made me the player that I am today.

“It was hard and, of course, when things weren’t going too well there were times when I thought I might not make it. But you have to keep the faith and believe in your own ability – even when others may not.

“I wouldn’t change that though, and you won’t catch me complaining about the route I have taken. There are plenty of players out there who don’t get a break and the opportunity to prove themselves - they are the unlucky ones.”

The impact that first choice stopper Mark Schwarzer has had at Craven Cottage has previously been documented. However, in outlining the Australian’s contributions since his own arrival in the summer of 2008, you can neglect to mention what could turn out to be his greatest contribution - the nurturing of a potential future Fulham, and maybe England, number one.

“Because of who he [Schwarzer] is, it is great that people are saying that I’m vying for his place in the team,” admits David. “I’m trying to push him hard and, hopefully, that’s part of the reason why he has been playing so well himself.

“I’ve learned a lot from watching him in training and in games, I’m kind of like a sponge in that sense. For me, he’s the best around, and if I can go on and have half the career he has had then I will be very happy.

“But, if he does slip up, I am ready to come in and show that I am ready for the challenge. I’ve just got to wait for that next chance, which is one of the most difficult things about being a goalkeeper. It can often be a bit of a waiting game.”

His England inclusion in February may have come as a surprise to many outside of Craven Cottage, but those on the inside recognised it was merited for, when called upon, the Yorkshireman has played as well as any goalkeeper in the English top-flight.

“It was a proud moment for myself and for my family, and for the Club too I hope,” he adds. “I was honoured to be called up for an England squad as a Fulham player, because the Club took a gamble on me.

“I like to think I have repaid a bit of that faith by doing well in the games that I have been part of and in how I have developed as a player. It was a nice reward for the hard work that has been put in by both parties.

“Okay, I didn’t actually play in the game against Denmark, but nonetheless it was still a moment that I will remember forever. Growing up, and even now, you dream about playing for your country – so to get that close was very special.

“It goes without saying that I would love to be involved again, but first and foremost I have to be doing well at club level. That’s where my focus remains.”

Stockdale is considered more than just an occasional understudy to Schwarzer, he is now a worthy challenger. His manager and coaches rate him highly, while his team-mates talk positively about the part he has already played. Fans, too, have enthused over his clear ability, and stand hopeful that his emergence will safeguard the Club’s goalkeeping future.

“I’m looking forward to that challenge and giving it a good go,” insists David. “I don’t want to be someone that came in and did well, but then is forgotten about. But it’s up to me to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2011, 09:04:52 AM »

A Taste of Success

Friday 29th April 2011

After playing a pivotal role in Wednesday evening’s impressive win over Bolton Wanderers at Craven Cottage, Eidur Gudjohnsen is eager to continue his run in the starting line-up.

The Icelandic striker not only provided a willing outlet for his team-mates on Wednesday, he also created plenty of opportunities for others, including cleverly laying on the final pass for Clint Dempsey’s second goal of the evening.

Looking back on the encounter, Gudjohnsen gave his assessment of the display:

"We started off excellently, and played some really nice football for 25 minutes and then saw it out until half-time,” he said. “We scored the second goal and we were comfortable after that.

“I was enjoying myself even though I missed a couple of chances. All in all I’m very pleased, obviously I would liked to have scored but I thought that me and Mousa were linking up well and holding the ball up quite well for the team – the goals will come eventually.”

Having been named in Mark Hughes’ starting line-up for the last two matches, Gudjohnsen is clearly enjoying the opportunity to be back in the thick of it - and is hoping that his stay at Fulham will stretch beyond the end of this season.

“It’s great to be playing football again,” he said. “I feel like I’m half-resurrecting my career because it was fading away earlier in the season and I just feel alive again.

“I think over the course of the season I’m sure that everyone would get their fair share of games. It’s all about the Team and the Squad because if I was to stay next season, we’re going to need everyone fully fit.

“We saw earlier in the season that we were very unfortunate with injuries, with a lot of forwards being injured. We need everyone fit and healthy; competition only brings the best out of players anyway.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying myself, I think Fulham is a great club, it’s a great setup. It surprised me how professionally everything is set up – I’ve got nothing but positive things to say and I’d be glad to stay if things were right for both parties.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2011, 09:12:15 AM »

Sunderland - Fulham Preview: Cottagers out to improve poor away record and strengthen top 10 place

Black Cats hope for first shut out in five games against one of the Premier League's worst attacking sides away from home

By Simon Sinclair


Sunderland (4-4-1-1)

Mignolet; Elmohamady, Onuoha, Turner, Bardsley; Henderson, Colback, Cattermole, Muntari; Malbranque; Sessegnon.
Injuries have hit the Black Cats hard this season, which means they are down to bare bones. Last week’s win over Wigan Athletic came at a cost with strikers
Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck being ruled out for the season. With no other forwards available, manager Steve Bruce will be forced to play Stephane Sessegnon up front with Steed Malbranque just behind him. Sulley Muntari will be drafted into left midfield.

Fulham (4-4-2)

Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Davies, Murphy, Sidwell, Dempsey; Dembele, Zamora.
Mark Hughes will be tempted to stick with the same side that beat Bolton Wanderers so convincingly. But Sunderland have struggled against the more physical teams in the division this season, so he may bring in Bobby Zamora to trouble the Black Cats back line.


•Twelve of Sunderland’s 39 league goals have come from players other than strikers this season.
•The Black Cats have the better record when the two sides have met, winning 22 of the 53 games played between them.
•Steve Bruce’s side have gone five games without keeping a clean sheet.
•Sunderland have the 12th best home record in the division with 26 of their 41 points coming at the Stadium of Light. However, they have won just twice at home in 2011.
•Lee Cattermole has the most red cards in the Premier League this season with two sending offs.
•The visiting team have not scored a goal in the last five fixtures between the clubs.
•Clint Dempsey (pictured right) has found the net 12 times for Fulham this season, which puts him in tied sixth in the top goalscoring charts in the Premier League this season.
•Fulham have won just one game away from home this season, which is the fewest in the top flight.
•The Cottagers have scored just 14 goals away from home this season, which is the third fewest in the Premier League. Only Wolves (12) and Newcastle (13) have scored lesser.
•Mark Hughes' side have drawn nine away games this season. It is the joint highest in the division along with Manchester United.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2011, 09:16:16 AM »

Dempsey backs Hughes' call for a top 10 finish

Published 16:06 28/04/11

By MirrorFootball

Clint Dempsey believes Fulham have the ability to reach the heady heights of last season under Mark Hughes and has targeted a top-10 finish to the campaign.

The United States international was in majestic form last night, netting twice in the Cottagers' comprehensive 3-0 home victory over Bolton.

Dempsey followed up a stupendous side volley with a bundled effort at Craven Cottage, before Brede Hangeland added a third with a header.

The victory extended Fulham's unbeaten league run at Craven Cottage to seven matches, having last tasted defeat at the hands of London rivals West Ham on Boxing Day.

The result left last season's UEFA Europa League finalists facing a potential relegation battle but now they lie ninth in the Barclays Premier League table.

And having all but staved off relegation, Dempsey believes the only way is up.

"I would like to think we could do what we did in the past," he said. "That we could be fighting for Europe and push on from there.

"We got to see the way things go but I don't think [last season] was a fluke. I think we have the quality here and hopefully we can show that.

"I would like to think that [we are safe] but there are still four games left and you don't want to be waiting until the last game and stressing.

"I think we are trying to look up, we are trying to make sure we finish in the top half because we feel that we have the quality in our team that we should be a team in the top half.

"That is the main goal now in our four games left."

The midfielder's brace last night saw him break Fulham's club record for most Premier League goals by a single player, with his 33-goal haul seeing him overtake Steed Malbranque and Brian McBride.

Dempsey admitted he knew about the statistic beforehand but insists scoring for the team was his only concern.

"We come two hours before the game and you find yourself bored and there are programmes lying around so you start reading them", he said.

"I looked at that statistic that if I scored against Wolves that would have tied me with [Brian] McBride and Steed Malbranque.

"It was good to get two tonight and be amongst the company and hopefully I can continue to score goals here."

Asked whether he could join the pair as Fulham cult legends, he added: "I don't know about that.

"That is great if that is what people think, I just come out and try my best to help the team win.

"It has been a good four and a half years that I have been here. I still have two years left and I am enjoying my football."

While Fulham's form has seen them yield 19 points out of a possible 21, Bolton have lost nine of their past 10 away games.

The Trotters still lie in eighth thanks to their superb home form and manager Owen Coyle was keen to focus on the positives rather than the negatives after yet another away loss.

"The progress we have made since coming into the football club, I am probably being repetitive, but we came into the club in the bottom three and favourites for relegation," he said.

"I think we sit eighth in the league at the moment, having spent £2million. You look at the league and there are huge clubs below us, having spent £20 or £30million.

"We are always looking to improve, absolutely, and we can improve our home form as well.

"We have lost a couple of games at home so we can improve on that and then we can improve on the away form, absolutely. That goes without saying.

"But what we will do is do it together and try and move forward."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2011, 09:24:55 AM »

Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen set for Fulham talks

By Paul Warburton

Apr 29 2011

EIDUR Gudjohnsen expects to find out his Fulham future before the end of the season.

And the Icelandic striker reckons he has more than a decent chance of adding himself to the roster that suddenly sees the Whites with four top hitmen champing at the bit.

The former Chelsea man was given the nod over the Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson in the 3-0 win over Bolton on Wednesday – and admits there have been clues that he will get offered a deal to keep him at Craven Cottage.

"I think there has been hints and talks about next season – but nothing formal, although I’m sure before the end of the season I’ll sit down with manager," he said.

"I would be glad to stay if both parties can agree something. The club needs competition for places, and it was unfortunate there were injuries earlier on.

"I’m sure I would get my fair share of games if I was to stay, and you could see against Bolton that I was linking up well with Mousa (Dembéle)."

Gudjohnsen admits his career was in ruins after he was left to rot on the sidelines at Stoke only for it to get revived when Fulham boss Mark Hughes rescued him with a short-term contract in the January transfer window.

Now the 32-year-old who moved from Stamford Bridge to Barcelona in a reported £9million deal five years ago fancies his chances of seeing out his time in the Premiership with the other side in SW6.

He said: "It’s a great just to be playing again. Fulham have half-resurrected my career because it was fading away.

"I think I’m returning to form – and it’s there for everyone to see, and although I missed a couple of chances against Bolton – the goals will come."

Gudjohnsen and co will attempt to get a second away win of the season at Sunderland tomorrow (Saturday) – with the forward relishing the furthest away trip on the calendar.

He added: "The Stadium of Light is a great stadium to play in; a great atmosphere and we’re in the top 10 and that’s where we’re looking to stay – and hopefully we can get the three points at Sunderland."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2011, 09:32:03 AM »

Sunderland v Fulham Preview: Steve Bruce Scrapes the Barrel Up Front

29/4/2011 4:00 AM GMT

By Ian Whittell


It's been the hot topic of conversation on Wearside all week. Well, it would be, wouldn't it? Such is their interest, the players have even taken to Twitter to air their views on the potential candidates.

Jordan Henderson has been mentioned in despatches, so too, implausibly it seems, Anton Ferdinand, though more than one of his team-mates reckons he might not be up to it. David Meyler, the verbose Irishman, never one short of an opinion or two, has also had his say.

Of course, we're talking about who should play up front as Sunderland's emergency forward in the absence of any other remotely fit striker, right? Wrong.

Instead, the above is the gist of an on-line discussion by members of Steve Bruce's squad as to who is in line to appear as a guest vocalist/wrapper on Asamoah Gyan's next single release. Given the potential line-up, at this rate, it doesn't promise to be a classic.

Having joined the club's lengthy injury list with a hamstring strain that is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the campaign, the Ghanaian international is set to have plenty of time on his hands to devote extra attention to his budding music career, in addition to increasing his number of Twitter disciples.

Instead, it's poor old Bruce, the self-confessed technophobe who concedes he's more right-twit than re-tweet when it comes to his grasp of social media, who is faced with the dilemma of attempting to send out a strike-force with no strikers. Work that one out.

Although, having scored three goals in 11 minutes in the victory over Wigan without a recognised forward on the pitch to secure top flight safety, perhaps Bruce would be well served in sending his troops out in a novel 4-6-0 formation and seeing how they do.

For their part, scoring goals doesn't appear to be a problem for Fulham, given their three in midweek to easily see off Bolton and seal their return to the top half of the table, a place the hosts can re-claim from them with a victory that will see them leapfrog Mark Hughes' side.
Key Match-Up: Stephane Sessegnon v Aaron Hughes: Sunderland's Benin international looks like he'll be given the task of filling in up front, where he'll come up against one of the top flight's most under-rated defenders in the Northern Ireland centre-back who, as durable as ever, has racked up in excess of 500 career appearances at the age of 31.

Form Guide: Sunderland finally halted their headlong slide towards the drop zone with a first victory in nine games in beating Wigan 4-2. Fulham are back in the top 10 after seeing off Owen Coyle's side. The aim now in the final four games is to stay there. It's three wins in the last six games but they're without an away win for more than four months.

Odds: Sunderland 2/1 Fulham 3/1 Draw 7/2

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2011, 12:37:49 PM »

Steve Bruce: Sunderland are buzzing again

STEVE BRUCE hopes renewed confidence will carry strikerless Sunderland through as they prepare to face Fulham this weekend.

The Black Cats lost Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck to hamstring injuries in last weekend’s 4-2 win over Wigan, while Fraizer Campbell was already ruled out long-term.

That means Bruce will start tomorrow’s game with the same attacking line-up which finished the Latics match, with Stephane Sessegnon in an advanced role and ex-Fulham man Steed Malbranque supporting him.

Sunderland’s win over Wigan was their first in 10 games, and Bruce says breaking that winless streak has given his side a much-needed boost. He said: “We’ve got a bit of confidence back.

“For half-an-hour after we equalised against Wigan last week I watched us play some great stuff and I thought to myself: ‘ Wow, where’s that been for the last few months?’, because it was like the sort of football we were playing before we had our slump.

“The players were on a high afterwards, as you would imagine, and there’s been a good buzz at the training camp this week.

“So hopefully we can take that into this game and keep it going.

“The one thing we have to avoid is getting complacent.

“Having finally got that win, we need to work hard to keep the points total ticking over.”

Fulham’s midweek win over Bolton saw them leapfrog Sunderland and go ninth in the table, while that result – and Stoke’s win over Wolves on Tuesday – has seen Sunderland slip to 12th.

And the Cottagers have emerged as genuine rivals to Sunderland for a top-10 place this term.

Bruce said: “Fulham haven’t caught the imagination of people this season like they have done in their previous couple of seasons when first they qualified for Europe and then did so well in the UEFA Cup. But they’ve still got a very good squad.

“They’ve been a little like us – badly hampered by important injuries – and I think they lost their way a little bit earlier in the season when they were without strikers Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora.

“But they’ve picked up recently and they could finish well.

“There’s still an awful lot left to play for and every point could count.

“Losing all our strikers has made it that much more difficult.

“But we still have enough quality players in our side to give it a real good go in each of our remaining games.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2011, 12:39:07 PM »

Fulham's Stockdale still eyeing Schwarzer's place

Fulham number one goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will have to keep looking over his shoulder if David Stockdale's words are anything to go by.

The 25-year old has again played understudy to the Australian veteran but feels he is getting closer to becoming a first team gloveman - with plenty of help from Schwarzer of course.

"Because of who he [Schwarzer] is, it is great that people are saying that I'm vying for his place in the team," Stockdale told the club's official website.

"I'm trying to push him hard and, hopefully, that's part of the reason why he has been playing so well himself.

"I've learned a lot from watching him in training and in games, I'm kind of like a sponge in that sense. For me, he's the best around, and if I can go on and have half the career he has had then I will be very happy.

"But, if he does slip up, I am ready to come in and show that I am ready for the challenge. I've just got to wait for that next chance, which is one of the most difficult things about being a goalkeeper. It can often be a bit of a waiting game."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (29.04.11)
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2011, 12:40:53 PM »

SUNDERLAND v Fulham: Striker crisis may force Stephane Sessegnon to lead attack

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will head into Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham without a single senior striker fit.

Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck (both hamstring) are unlikely to play again this season and Fraizer Campbell (knee) is out for a year, while even youngster Ryan Noble damaged a knee on youth team duty earlier this week.

On the spot: Sessegnon (right) scored against Wigan last weekend

Benin international Stephane Sessegnon is the main candidate for a lone role up front, while full-back Phil Bardsley has recovered from the bout of concussion he suffered during last Saturday's 4-2 victory over Wigan.

John Mensah (adductor tear) and Anton Ferdinand (hamstring) are being assessed, but Kieran Richardson (hamstring) is likely to miss out and Titus Bramble, Craig Gordon and David Meyler (all knee) remain on the sidelines.

Provisional squad: Mignolet, Carson, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Mensah, Bardsley, Angeleri, Turner, Cattermole, Muntari, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Sessegnon, Zenden, Colback, Knott, Adams, Lynch.

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