New Fulham boss Mark Hughes has immediately outlined his plans for the club, and first on the former Manchester City manager’s list is to establish the Cottagers in the Premier League’s top 10.
Fulham are 7/4 to finish in the top 10 this season, and Hughes wants such a position to become commonplace for the club.
Hughes’s predecessor, Roy Hodgson, led Fulham to the Europa League final last season, but the 46-year-old is far from daunted by following in the footsteps of the new Liverpool supremo.
“We want to drive the club forward,” Hughes said at his unveiling. “We want to make sure that Fulham is a top 10 club on a regular basis, which hasn’t been the case in recent times.”
One of Hughes’s first tasks will be to keep hold of left-back Paul Konchesky and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who are reportedly transfer targets for Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.
“It’s not my intention to allow the better players to leave,” the former Manchester United and Barcelona striker said.
Hughes has also identified the Fulham attack as an area in need of strengthening. “I think it’s fair to say that we need more attacking options.”
Craig Bellamy is a player who Hughes knows well from his stints as Manchester City, Blackburn and Wales manager, and the livewire forward is again a target for the new Fulham boss.
Bobby Zamora was the Cottagers’ top scorer last season, and the reinvented former Tottenham flop is 33/1 to finish this campaign as the Premier League’s leading marksman.
Hughes’s first game in charge will be Fulham’s friendly with Werder Bremen on Saturday, the club’s last match before their Premier League opener away to Bolton on August 14th, which they are 11/5 to win.
How do you think Fulham will do this season? They are 11/1 to finish in the top six. See the full Barclays Premier League Betting Odds market.