Fulham vs. Blackpool  3 - 0


Hughes not resting on his laurels

3 April 2011 21:43

Fulham boss Mark Hughes admits the possibility of relegation still hangs in the air despite his team moving into 10th after beating Blackpool.

The Cottagers were clinical in the 3-0 win that saw Bobby Zamora strike a brace and Dickson Etuhu tap in a third.

But Hughes said despite moving into the top half of the English Premier League, relegation was not yet out of the question with Fulham only six points clear of 18th-placed West Ham United.

"It's not done and dusted until you get the points that you know mathematically that you can't go down. There's always a little bit of worry," he said.

"In terms of what we're producing and how we played in the last two to three months, I don't have any concerns."

"Quality of our performances will allow us to pick up more points between now and the end of the season and that should certainly allow us to be safe."

"But until we actually get them on the board, you can never say never."

Hughes was delighted with the impact Zamora made in his return to the starting line-up.

"It was important he got over the last hurdle that he had after his injury in terms of getting a few games and I couldn't have hoped for a better impact from him," he said.

"Straight from the off he showed quality that we missed and lacked for many games this season. It's the perfect day for him."

The former Manchester City boss said he wanted his team to establish themselves in the top half, meaning they had achieved the goals set for this campaign.

Meanwhile, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said he wanted his team to play with the belief they had to get promoted to the top flight.

The Seasiders dominated possession for periods at Craven Cottage but could not find an outlet in the attacking third.

"We look like we're carrying the world on our shoulders and we've got to get rid of that," Holloway said.

"Our body language was horrible. We got promoted on the strength that we didn't care about someone scoring, we were going to go and score ourselves.'

Holloway said he has told his team to go and watch the way they got promoted last season, hoping for a turnaround in attitude.

"I've asked them to do that because you need to remain totally positive," he said.

"We can probably have five defeats and two victories and we would still stay up, I believe."

"Thirty-nine points might keep us up and if we achieve that, it will be a fantastic achievement, better than last year."

Blackpool have collected just five points from their last 11 outings but have their next four league games at home.


Premier League: Fulham 3 Blackpool 0

3 April 2011 15:31

A brace from Bobby Zamora and a rare goal from midfielder Dickson Etuhu have inspired Fulham to an impressive 3-0 home win over struggling Blackpool.

The victory for Mark Hughes' side means they have won five of their last six games at Craven Cottage, while Blackpool have not registered three points for 11 games now and are one place above the relegation zone.

The hosts controlled the opening stages of the game but struggled to carve out any real chances, while at the other end Blackpool captain Charlie Adam fashioned the visitors' first chance, sending a long-range effort over the top of Mark Schwarzer's goal.

Fulham almost made the breakthrough with 15 minutes gone, however some fine goalkeeping from Richard Kingson kept the scores level.

Carlos Salcido's cross was touched back to Damien Duff by Mousa Dembele, and the Irishman's shot looked destined for the bottom corner - that was until Kingson's fingertips touched it onto the post.

The Ghana keeper, however, almost went from hero to villain after spilling defender Chris Baird's drilled effort but recovered the ball with Zamora waiting to pounce.

The English striker did not have to wait long to open his account for the afternoon though, putting Fulham ahead on 22 minutes.

A lazy back pass from Blackpool striker James Beattie sent Zamora clean through and he kept his composure to lash high into the net from just inside the box.

Zamora made it two for the day five minutes later, rising high above defender Craig Cathcart to head home Duff's precise free-kick and send Fulham on their way to earning all three points.

Baird cleared Brett Ormerod's header off the line after Schwarzer misjudged a cross as the first half came to a close which proved Blackpool's best chance the whole afternoon.

Ian Holloway's men started the second 45 minutes brightly but could not take advantage of Adam's excellent distribution from free-kicks and corners.

Dembele, superb all day for Fulham, proved a real handful for Stephen Crainey and almost put the home side out of sight on 60 minutes but his shot after tricking his way past two defenders was blocked and trickled wide.

Beattie looked to make amends for his part in gifting Zamora his first goal and cannoned a shot off the post from a tight angle, though Schwarzer looked to have the goal covered.

But any hopes of a Blackpool comeback were extinguished when midfielder Etuhu tapped in from close range after Brede Hangeland's skewed cross found him unmarked on the six-yard box.

The win for Fulham puts more distance between them and the pack of struggling teams looking to avoid relegation while Blackpool, after making such a bright start to life in the Premier League, are in real trouble down at the bottom of the table.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +41 80
2 38 +36 71
3 38 +27 71
4 38 +29 68
5 38 +9 62
6 38 +15 58
7 38 +6 54
8 38 +6 49
9 38 -11 48
10 38 -11 47
11 38 -15 47
12 38 -1 46
13 38 -2 46
14 38 -4 46
15 38 -13 43
16 38 -21 42
17 38 -20 40
18 38 -21 39
19 38 -23 39
20 38 -27 33
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