April 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Kieran Richardson believes Fulham’s Boxing Day trip to Norwich is a game the Cottagers must win to boost their survival hopes.
Fulham have one win in 10 Premier League games following Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Manchester City and Richardson hopes to turn the momentum in the final two away matches before the year’s end, with a trip to Hull following the Canaries clash.
Rene Meulensteen’s men also play West Ham and Sunderland in a sequence of fixtures that appear, on paper at least, winnable for a Cottagers’ side that made City work hard.
“The next four games are very, very important for us,” Richardson said. “They’re all bottom half clubs, all winnable. We want to take each game at a time, but the next game against Norwich, we want to win that game. It’s a must-win for us.
“You’ve always got to beat the teams around about you. You try your best against the top, top teams, but the teams around you, they’re the times when you’re picking the points up. We’re playing free football with confidence, attacking-wise. I think it’s only a matter of time before we get results.”
Richardson was drafted in to play on the left wing for his first appearance under Meulensteen and rewarded his former coach at Manchester United with a goal. Like Adel Taarabt, who performed well in the lone striker’s role, Richardson has found chances limited this term, but now hopes to seize his opportunity.
He added: “Sitting on the sidelines, you don’t want to be sitting there, you just want to be out on the pitch playing.
“Sometimes when the manager does that, it gets the fire back in your belly. Maybe that’s happened to him (Taarabt) and me.”
Fulham’s chances in their Boxing Day clash (3pm) could be bolstered by the return from injury of Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian striker missed the defeat to City after picking up an injury the day before. But Meulensteen is hopeful he with have one of his main men back.
When asked if Berbatov had a chance of facing Norwich, he said: “I hope so. It is going to be another late fitness test and we will have to have a look in the next couple of days.
“He has responded well to the treatment in his right abductor but we don’t want to be taking any risks and making sure that we are doing the right thing.
“It was a late shout for the Manchester City game and we thought it was too big a risk of him breaking down. Hopefully we can welcome him back for the Norwich game. He has a fairly good chance.
“The medical staff could tell me to push it back to Hull but at the moment I’m positive.”