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Lee Clark believes Fulham can cruise it

last updated Saturday 14th October 2000, 1:53 PM
Lee Clark has warned the First Division that Fulham can cruise to automatic promotion to the Premiership.

Midfielder Clark was part of Kevin Keegan's Newcastle side who picked up 11 straight wins on the way to easy promotion to the top-flight in 1992. He also played a vital role as Sunderland romped to the First Division title with a record points total two years ago.

Now 27, Clark insists Jean Tigana's table-topping Fulham have the potential to emulate his two former North East clubs.

Lee Clark
Lee believes Fulham could do it on automatic!!

Nine wins out of nine have seen Fulham - who face pre-season promotion favourites Blackburn at Craven Cottage tomorrow - blaze clear at the top of Division One. Only Watford have managed to stay in touch with them. He said: 'The way things have started for us and the mood among the players remind me of the way things were at Newcastle and Sunderland.'There is a great feeling among the squad, everyone is full of confidence and there are a lot of similarities to what I have experienced before - hopefully we can achieve what those teams did.

'Newcastle, Sunderland and Charlton last season proved playing attractive football can bring success and that's how we are going about things. 'To have a good start to the season is a great advantage because if a blip comes along, and it has to at some stage in a season, we could have enough of an advantage for it not to affect us too badly. 'At Newcastle we were so far clear that when a couple of results went the wrong way it didn't damage us, and Sunderland were in a similar position. We have to emulate that now. 'The big test will be when a couple of results do go against us. Then we will have to react in the right way. 'But for the time being we just want to keep on winning and we approach every game confident of getting three points. It's too early to start assuming promotion is ours - all we are doing is making sure we win every game we can.'

Fulham are boosted by the return to fitness of leading scorer Louis Saha and defender Rufus Brevett, although both may start on the bench.

Blackburn boss Graeme Souness has named Craig Hignett in his squad. The midfielder came through a reserve team outing in midweek following three months on the sidelines with achilles trouble.

Keith Gillespie is also in the squad, despite missing out on Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Denmark and Iceland.

Souness is delighted to welcome Hignett back to the fold, however, after waiting so long to hand the goalscoring midfielder his Rovers debut following his £2.5million move from Barnsley.

'Craig is a key man to have in the squad,' said Souness. 'He will be on the bench at Fulham, but I would imagine that he will get on at some stage.

'Barnsley have missed his goals since he left and we could have done with his contribution in midfield.'

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