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Match Preview - Fulham v West Ham 14.02.04

last updated Friday 13th February 2004, 12:14 PM
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman Fulham boss Chris Coleman has axed his controversial 4-5-1 formation as he prepares for Saturday's all-London FA Cup clash with First Division West Ham.

The Cottagers chief had stuck by his single-striker policy despite criticism that, when it failed to click, his side were toothless in attack.

But Saturday's draw at Southampton, when it took Fulham 68 minutes to muster their first shot on target, gave the manager food for thought.

And Wednesday's 2-1 home defeat against West Ham - in which Coleman's side took a first-minute lead but were behind by the break - proved the straw which broke the camel's back.

A quarter-final place goes to the winners of the Loftus Road clash and Coleman confessed: "I won't hide from it - I will change the shape tomorrow as we need to be better than we were in the first half against Villa.

"We had a great start in that game with a great goal by Luis Boa Morte - but we took our foot off the gas.

"Villa dominated the rest of the first half, won the 50-50s and won the second balls - and that was disappointing. We were 2-1 down by half-time and it could have been more."

Coleman, who is without Lee Clark - given a week off to rest his troublesome Achilles, demanded his players stand up and be counted against Alan Pardew's side.

"West Ham is a big test for us as we are playing a team who are a division below us and playing well," he added.

"They have nothing to lose and, for a change, all the pressure will be on us.

"My players have not let me down so far this season but I will find out more about them tomorrow."

West Ham Manager West Ham manager Alan Pardew insists he will not think twice about dumping Fulham out of the FA Cup despite admitting he supported them as a boy.

Pardew was introduced to football as a 10-year-old when his father took him to matches at Craven Cottage and still harbours an affection for the club.

But he will not let sentiment get in his way as the Hammers aim for a place in the quarter-finals at Fulham's adopted home of Loftus Road.

Pardew said: "My dad used to take me when I was 10 years old up the away end because there were never any away fans there at the time.

"I used to enjoy it. It was my first real introduction to professional football. When I became a teenager I became a Chelsea fan to fit in with the other boys.

"But when George Best and Rodney Marsh turned up I was a Fulham fan again for a little while. They've always been a great club and what's happened to them has been unbelievable.

"But my boys fancy it. We feel we're playing well. We've got great results away from home this season.

"It's a shame we've only got 3,000 tickets because we could have filled the stadium. But we want to give our fans something to shout about."

The Hammers faithful have endured a rotten 12 months, suffering relegation from the Barclaycard Premiership and a faltering Division One campaign.

The sale of Jermain Defoe to Tottenham in January only added to the frustration of watching the likes of Joe Cole and Glen Johnson walk away last summer.

Pardew has now assembled a squad he insists can challenge for promotion, although five new faces are cup-tied on Saturday, but he claims enforced changes will not be a problem.

He said: "The guys who are not involved will be rooting for the guys who are playing. It's great for me.

Pardew reached the final in 1990 as a player with Crystal Palace, where he later played alongside Fulham boss Chris Coleman.

And he reckons his former team-mate is doing a good job in his first season as a manager.

He said: "Chris I know well. He's brought something to Fulham they lacked under Jean Tigana - a desire and passion.
Stats from League games
Craven Cottage on Loftus Road
in sunny London Town
FA Cup Rnd 5 - 14 Feb 04
Pos Fulham West
Games Played 8 25 30 5
Goals Scored 4 37 43 7
Ave Goals Per Game   1.48 1.43  
Shots 6 273 328  
% Goals To Shots 7 14% 13%  
Shots On Target 5 134 201  
% Shots On Target 2 49% 39%  
Ave Shots Per Game   11 11  
Ave Shots On Target Per Game   5 4  
Total Passes 9 9129 -  
Ave Passes Per Game   365 -  
Total Crosses Made 20 461 -  
Ave Crosses Per Game   18 -  
Goals Conceded 11 35 30 5
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game   1.40 1.00  
Tackles 1 857 -  
Tackles Won 1 638 -  
% Tackles Won 3 74% -  
Ave Tackles Won Per Game   26 -  
Clean Sheets 9 8 9  
Fouls 8 358 340  
Average fouls per game   14 11  
Yellow Cards 10 41 46 13
Fouls per Yellows 8 8.7 7.4  
Red Cards   3 3  
Figures in the Pos columns indicate position in League
Cipher stat flash
Fulham head into the 5th round of the FA Cup against West Ham the team they lost the FA Cup to in 1975.
  • West Ham, are scoring at a similar rate to Fulham but are less accurate in front of goal and convert less of their chances into goals. from lack of accuracy in front of goal. Jermain Defoe scored 11 of their goals before his transfer with David Connolly being their next deadly with 7 goals.
  • In defensive terms West Ham concede goals at a slower rate than Fulham but are fractionally worse off in terms of clean sheets. With 7 away draws to their name so far it would appear that The Irons can keep it tight at the back.
  • As far as fouls and cards are concerned West Ham have commit fewer fouls than Fulham fouls in the Premiership but get carded quicker than Fulham.
West Ham are doing relatively well considering the uproar following their relegation from the Premiership and they are still up to beating Premiership opposition as they proved when winning 3-1 against Wolves up at Molineux. The number of their players cup-tied could be the deciding factor.

The only time Fulham have gone beyond the fifth round since their sole appearance in the final 29 years ago, was the season before last when they lost to a John Terry goal for Chelsea in the semi-final at Villa Park.
* Chris Coleman's side were knocked out by First Division opposition last season, when Burnley defeated them in this corresponding round 3-0 at Turf Moor in a replay, after a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.

West Ham
West Ham have won the Cup three times, and are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since losing to Spurs three years ago.
* The Hammers are undefeated in their last three meetings with Fulham, all Premiership, and have won their last three league and cup games this season.
* They have also not been defeated on the road in ten games since Tottenham dismissed them from the Carling Cup on 29 October.

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