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Hughes confident of survival


Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Fulham manager Mark Hughes believes his team will have no problem staying in the Barclays Premier League if they continue performing like they did in the win over Blackpool.

Bobby Zamora's two goals and a Dickson Etuhu effort helped the Londoners to a comfortable 3-0 victory, continuing their impressive recent form at Craven Cottage. Fulham have secured five victories in their past six games and the latest win helped propel them up to 10th in the Premier League standings.

"It is not done and dusted until you get the points and mathematically you can't go down," said Hughes. "But I have to say, in terms of what we are producing and how we played in the last two or three months after Christmas, I don't have any concerns.

Fulham are three points behind seventh place Everton but still only six clear of the relegation zone, and Hughes added: "I think the quality of our performance will allow us to pick up more points from now until the end of the season and that will certainly be enough for us to be safe. But until you actually get enough on the board you can never say never."

Hughes insisted in the post-match press conference that the result only reinforced his view that Fulham are a "top 10 side" and that the performance can act as a catalyst for the rest of the season.

"We've never wavered from that view and obviously we're in that position," he said. "We're something like three points from seventh. It's possible we can really establish ourselves from now until the end of the season in that top half."

Blackpool, meanwhile, are deep in relegation trouble and languish in 17th spot, with just a point separating them from the drop zone. Tangerines boss Ian Holloway admitted he would "crack the whip" in a bid to turn things around and was shocked that his players' heads dropped after conceding.

"We got promoted on the strength that we didn't care about someone scoring because we were going to go and score," he said.

"And if you look at the play-offs (last season) my lads were magnificent. We let goals in, it didn't matter. We equalised, went in front, it didn't matter. Here it looked like 'oh, deary me'.

"They were devastated against Man United at home, where we should have got a penalty but we didn't get one. That would have been 3-0 but they didn't get that and they went on to score three. It has just been like that but they have to realise how well they have done and keep their energy high."