0 users online

Aaron Hughes says Fulham coping with early start

last updated Friday 22nd July 2011, 10:19 PM

 Fulham defender Aaron Hughes
Fulham defender
Aaron Hughes
Aaron Hughes
Fulham defender Aaron Hughes believes that the club's Europa League qualifiers will not affect their preparations for the upcoming season and insists they will take every game in the competition seriously.

Thursday night saw the Cottagers progress to the third qualifying round following a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Northern Irish side Crusaders.

Martin Jol's team began their season on June 30 in the Europa League and have so far had four competitive matches mixed in with their pre-season schedule, however, Hughes insists the extra games will not affect their performances in the Premier League.

"It hasn't been too difficult to adapt to the early start," he told reporters. "We've tried not to upset our pre-season, if you like.

"The games are slightly different because they are competitive but we're still working through things in training with the new season in mind.

"Obviously we maybe have to tweak one or two things in the build up to competitive games, but I think once we knew we were coming back early it was definite then.

"You get your head round it and you carry on."

The west London club will face Croatian side RNK Split for a place in the first full round of the Europa League, and although Hughes admits he does not know much about their upcoming opponents, he insists the tie will not be taken lightly.

"We go where we have to go," he said. "We take each game as it comes, wherever that may be.

"We're still in the competition and we'll enjoy it as much as we can for as long as we're still in it.

"We will do exactly the same as we would do if we were going to play Manchester United.

"We will have a couple of guys maybe go out and watch a couple of their games and bring reports back.

"Leading up to the game, we will watch a couple of DVDs, have a little chat about certain things.

"Maybe certain things that we feel they're dangerous at and certain areas where we feel we can hurt them.

"It will be no different to preparations for a Premier League game really so we will know enough about them come kick off."

Hughes also praised new signing John Arne Riise after the Norwegian made his debut in Thursday's win, and claims the former Liverpool man has settled in well.

"He is a very, very good acquisition," he added. "It is almost as if he has been here for two years.

"It hasn't been a massive thing in the changing room, he just kind of slipped in quietly straight away.

"He has obviously got his brother [Bjorn Helge] and Brede [Hangeland] here already and he knows Danny [Murphy] from Liverpool.

"He has integrated straight away but you find that with any of the new players that come to this club.

"We've got a good bunch of lads here and people seem to fit in straight away."

Source Sam Bisby at goal.com
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"