Football - Hughes wants resilient Cottagers

Aaron Hughes knows Fulham will need a repeat of their opening day defensive display if they are to leave Newcastle with another away win.

PA Sport Report

The Cottagers have endured a topsy-turvy start to the season, with last weekend's heavy home defeat to Arsenal followed by a stern Capital One Cup test against fourth tier Burton.

Before that, though, Martin Jol's side kicked off the campaign with a hard-fought and somewhat surprising 1-0 win at Sunderland.

It was a victory borne out of resilient defending and former Newcastle defender Hughes believes that will be key again at St James' Park.

"We went up there a couple of weeks ago to play Sunderland and got a good result," the defender told the club's official website,

"This weekend will be very much similar to that game as they'll have a big crowd behind them, the team will be looking to get off to a good start and we're going to have to do something similar to what we did at Sunderland.

"We'll have to be as strong in defence as we were at Sunderland, but maybe try and use the ball a little bit better.

"We all know Sunderland wasn't our best performance football-wise, but in terms of being solid and defensively strong and everyone working really, really hard it was as good as we've had in a long time, so we need another performance like that.

"With their crowd, if they get off to a good start then they'll get right behind them and it could make for a very difficult game.

"But if we can get off to a good start ourselves and try and quieten them a little bit, then it will maybe make the day a little bit easier.

"If we could snatch an early goal then it would give us something to hold on to.

"It means then that they have to come out looking for a goal and push forward a little bit, certainly as the game goes on, and they'd maybe leave a few spaces that we could exploit."

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