Dimitar Berbatov may return as Kieran Richardson dubs Fulham’s Norwich City visit ‘must-win’

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen on the touchline during their home defeat to Manchester City last time out. Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen on the touchline during their home defeat to Manchester City last time out.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
6:00 AM

Kieran Richardson believes Fulham’s Boxing Day trip to Norwich is a game the Cottagers must win to boost their survival hopes.

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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.”

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16 comments

  • We owe those boys a right thrashing after what they have done to us over the years. Fingers crossed and smash the whites. OTBC.

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    lordbesty

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Just looked at the results for Boxing Day 1963 and there you have it. Fulham 10 (ten) ITFC one (1). Still remains their record defeat to this day. Strange results that day. West Ham 2 Blackburn 8, Burnley 6 Man Utd 1, Lpool 5 Stoke 1, and also a four all draw. Most results were reversed two days later. Town beat Fulham, W Ham beat Blackburn and Man Utd beat Burnley by 5 one. Those were the days.

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    Steely Dan

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • No soft spot here - three points please! OTBC!

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Three years ago Fulham had an excellent side. Then Hodgson left and the subsequent manager's dismantled the team. Now they look an ordinary line up and there is no guarantee that they will stay up. I,ve always had a bit of a soft spot for them though.

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    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Merry Christmas everyone ! Remember them doing us 0-1 @ the Carra years ago. Gutted. If ever there was a team we owe some payback to it's them. OTBC!

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Agreed, a win over Fulham in the top flight is well overdue. Lets get on and do it with style ! No sympathy at all if we put them to the sword......OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Ah, I see, so this is what's meant by gardening leave. What I don't get is why I have these persistent images of a dog on a lead sniffing for truffles. I think it means that Chrissie needs to let the dogs out tomorrow. Where's Stew Steely?, its so quiet without him

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • This is also a must win game for us so lets not feel sorry for them, them have certainly put the boot into us in the past so now it is our turn for a change. OTBC

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    TrevorKeith

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Well done Bill. Just one factual point, Berbatov doesn't chase anything. Whoever marks him tomorrow will need an overcoat to avoid hypothermia.

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    waclor

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • I think it was Vic Buckingham. Robson might well have been playing. Mullery and Johnny Haynes were. Graham Leggett scored a hat trick.

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    Steely Dan

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • Merry Christmas all , 3 points and an improved goal difference coming our way COYY OTBC

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    mjc75

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Merry Christmas all. I hope Brew is ok. Looking foreword to more points. ;-) OTBC

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Phew .. it's nearly 9.30pm and I think I have survived. Always a dangerous day for us men. Mrs Dan slaving away for 4 hours in the kitchen this morning whilst I could contribute nothing. Tapping away at a laptop is no option so I went out and did over an hour's gardening. Looked very busy and was rewarded with a cuppa. This evening I volunteered to wash the dishes. Took almost an hour but was worth it. Now its a question of surviving the sales.

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    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Steely was Bobby Robson manager of Fulham on that day?

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    waclor

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • Thanks Waclor, here's hoping that no one pinches his shorts. My mum will be there tomorrow, and the sight of him playing in his birthday suit might just prove too much

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

  • Ah yes Fulham: I saw three goals come sailing in On Boxing day, on Boxing day I saw three goals come sailing in On Boxing day in the afternoon. And whose was the net that the goals went in, The goals went in, the goals went in And whose was the net that the goals went in On Boxing day in the afternoon? They all went in the Cottager’s bag, Cottager’s bag, Cottager’s bag They all went in the Cottager’s bag On Boxing day in the afternoon And who put the goals in the Cottager’s bag, Cottager’s bag, Cottager’s bag And who put the goals in the Cottager’s bag, On Boxing day in the afternoon. Our Saviour, Wes, and Leroy Fer, On Boxing day, on Boxing day Our Saviour, Wes, and Leroy Fer, On Boxing day in the afternoon. And Ricky Van Wolfswinkel gave it a poke, Gave it a poke, gave it a poke And Ricky Van Wolfswinkel gave it a poke, On Boxing day in the afternoon Is it true he ran off with Berbatov’s pants? Berbatov’s pants, Berbatov’s pants? Is it true he ran off with Berbatov’s pants? On Boxing day in the afternoon He was last seen chasing him down Carrow Road Down Carrow Road, down Carrow Rd He was last seen chasing him down Carrow Road On his way to the A 11 And Alan Curbishley’s face went white Face went white, face went white And Alan Curbishley’s face went white As the poor man nearly fell over And all City supporters on earth shall sing, Earth shall sing, earth shall sing And all City supporters on earth shall ring, Berbatov’s got an election [too fight] I saw three goals come sailing in On Boxing day, on Boxing day I saw three goals come sailing in On Boxing day in the afternoon.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

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