Aaron Hughes puts Premier League survival ahead of Europe

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Fulham centre back Aaron Hughes has said he believes the team can qualify for the Europa League.

When asked about the possibility of ending the season in the European places, Hughes responded positively but admitted that survival is the Cottagers’ priority.

“It would be great if we could do that but first we must secure our Premier League status. The sooner we get to safety the better” he said.

Hughes should be optimistic about his team’s chances, especially after their brilliant run to the Europa League final last season.

Fulham find themselves in a similar position to that of the 2008/09 season, when the Cottagers came seventh to secure a European place.

They had a relatively new manager in Roy Hodgson, new signings settling in and had made a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season.

Fulham have nine points from seven games and at this stage of the successful 2008 campaign, Fulham had seven points from seven games.

They’ve gained credible draws this season away at Bolton and Manchester United and are still unbeaten in the Premier League.

With two of their next four games against relegation candidates Wigan and West Brom, there’s no reason why Fulham can’t take advantage of the decline of Liverpool and inconsistency of Aston Villa and push on for a Europa League place.

Fulham play host to Spurs on Saturday and will want a win to continue their charge and to shake off the tag they’ve been given of draw specialists.

This tag isn’t without good reason as they’ve tied six of their first seven Premier League games and the odds are 11/5 on the scores being level again.

Spurs have won one of their three away games this season and are given 6/4 to make it two wins.

Fulham are still unbeaten this season though and at 15/8 to beat Spurs are a reasonable bet.

Fulham are 50/1 to finish in the top four this season. See the full Barclays Premier League betting odds market here.

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