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Hughes desperate for Cottagers to find form

last updated Friday 10th December 2010, 4:54 PM
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
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Former Manchester United team-mates Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce will go head-to-head at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The two players were fundamental components of Sir Alex Ferguson's league-winning sides during the mid 90s.

But there will be no quarter given on Saturday as Hughes and his struggling Fulham side go in search of a much-needed win.

The Cottagers have only won once in their last 10 Premier League games and are without a win in their last six home games.

Hughes is still trying to stamp his mark on the team he took over in the summer and has been promised funds by owner Mohammed Al-Fayed for the January window.

Fulham are currently 17th and are only out of the bottom three by way of goal difference but they will find it difficult against Sunderland.

Although they have only lost five games this term, they have drawn a staggering nine which has hampered their progress.

Sunderland have regrouped superbly since they were dismantled 5-1 by Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby in October.

Three wins out of their last six games - the most notable the 3-0 away win at Chelsea - has put them up to 7th in the Premier League.

At the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats have an impeccable record. But it is their tendency to slip up on the road that concerns Bruce.

They were beaten 3-2 by Wolves at Molineux a fortnight ago and, along with their performances at West Brom and Newcastle, Bruce cites them as the worst of the campaign, the common denominator being they were all away from home.

But the Black Cats chief is confident they can now start finding some consistency on the road.

His cause will be made slightly more difficult if striker Asamoah Gyan and goalkeeper Craig Gordon fail to recover from their knocks.

Gyan is battling a toe injury while Gordon has picked up a hamstring problem, although Bruce is hopeful both will be fit for the game.

However, the Black Cats are definitely without Titus Bramble, Fraizer Campbell and Michael Turner, who are all out with with long-term knee injuries.

Diomansy Kamara hopes to retain his place in the Fulham line up after his goal against Arsenal last weekend.

Moussa Dembele is poised for a recall though after battling back from injury, while fellow injured striker Andrew Johnson is nearing full fitness too.

Rafik Halliche should have recovered from a thigh injury that has kept him out.

But long-term absentees Carlos Salcido, Fredrik Stoor, Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos all remain sidelined.

Source skysports
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