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Hughes still keen to keep Schwarzer


Mark Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer

Mark Hughes insists nothing has changed with Mark Schwarzer's situation at Fulham despite the goalkeeper's absence from the side that drew 0-0 with Bolton.

Schwarzer was left out of the Cottagers' squad for their Barclays Premier League opener at the Reebok Stadium, just a day after it emerged that he had handed in a transfer request with a view to joining Arsenal. Hughes said after the match that Schwarzer did not feature because he had failed a fitness test and confirmed he was still hoping to keep hold of the 37-year-old.

Asked if Schwarzer would be at Fulham much longer, Hughes said: "That is the intention, yes. Nothing has moved on."

He added: "Myself and Mark have had conversations and I fully understand the reasoning behind the fact that he maybe wants to take up the opportunity (to join Arsenal).

"But I think he also understands that we have to protect our position as well, and that is what we are doing.

"We are not going to put Fulham's position or reputation at risk by making promises we can't fulfil, so at the moment it's very much the status quo and nothing has moved on."

Hughes' first competitive game in charge of Fulham was a low-key affair, his new side grinding out a point thanks in no small part to Schwarzer's replacement in goal, David Stockdale, who produced a string of fine saves on only his second Premier League appearance.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle, who saw midfielder Stuart Holden go closest to scoring with just over 10 minutes remaining by striking the post, was pleased with his side's performance but frustrated they could not make the most of their chances to secure victory.

"In terms of the opening day, there was an awful lot for me to be pleased about," Coyle said. "We would have loved three points and I think at times we merited them.

"If we can continue to get clean sheets and have that cutting edge in the final third, that will result in points for us. Some of the play was great, the fans were fantastic, the atmosphere was great and just the disappointment is that we never got the win."