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Fulham delay Mitroglou debut

11 February 2014 16:23

Konstantinos Mitroglou will have to wait to make his Fulham debut after Rene Meulensteen deemed him not ready for first-team action.

The London club's record signing, who cost a reported £12.5million, has not made an appearance since his switch from Greek champions Olympiacos last month.

And head coach Meulensteen insisted the striker would not be rushed into making his Craven Cottage bow.

"We're still working very hard to get him up to speed for the Premier League," he said. "It's important for us that we time that right, for us and for him. He's working hard, he's progressing every day, and that's how we assess him.

"Wednesday (against Liverpool) will be too early for him."

Fulham, who prop up the rest of the Premier League, recorded a dramatic 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Sunday and Meulensteen is confident it could prove to be a turning point.

"You try to build and step up every week if you can," he continued. "We said (before Sunday’s game) that we've got a 14-game league ahead of us, this is the first game, a big tough away game, and we came away with a point, so we're delighted.

"We defended really well but obviously what we do know now is that we need to be more positive when we have the ball. We've had that in previous games, but we haven't defended as well, so we need to gradually grow to get the right balance."

But the Dutchman knows his side will face another tough task on Wednesday with the visit of Liverpool, who picked up an emphatic 5-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

"How do you stop them?" he puzzled. "They've had an incredible season. With the pace and the penetration, the variety and the unpredictability, they can all score goals so it has to be all hands on deck for us to make sure we defend in a good compact manner.

"We keep communicating with each other, we don't leave gaps for them to get through and play through, but like I said, the defensive performance from Sunday was definitely a massive improvement and hopefully we can build on that.

"They're six points off the top so they might be a dark horse (for the title). That depends if big teams stumble where you don't expect them to stumble and they can create a momentum carrying them into April, then you never know. But they've had an excellent season."

The game, which had been thrown into doubt over a planned London Underground strike, has now been confirmed as going ahead after those proposals were scrapped.

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Info

2 - 3

Competition
Premier League
Date
12 February 2014
Game week
26
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
1 - 1
Full-time
2 - 3
Venue
Craven Cottage (London)
Attendance
25375

Goals

K. Touré (OG) 8'  
1 - 0
1 - 1
41' D. Sturridge
 (assist by S. Gerrard)
2 - 1
2 - 2
2 - 3
90'+1 S. Gerrard (PG)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
4 90+1'
3
27 50'
33
7
15 63' 64'
6 9'
10
19
39
Coach: R. Meulensteen
# Player Bookings
22
4 8'
37
20
38
8 90+1' 90+2'
14 77'
10 56' 72'
31
7
15 41'
Coach: B. Rodgers

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
53
5
1
9
12
24
34

Thursday 31 July

Wednesday 30 July

23:56
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00:37

Tuesday 29 July

23:58
23:32
23:03
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22:34
22:33
20:42
20:36
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18:59
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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0

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