Magath hails Fulham feelgood factor
Published 10/04/2014 | 15:32
Fulham manager Felix Magath is hoping the extra spring in the step of his players during training can translate into a second straight Barclays Premier League win at home to Norwich.
Having struggled to keep their heads above water all season, a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa last weekend moved the Whites up to 18th in the table and five points behind Saturday's visitors.
It was only Magath's second league win since he became Fulham's third manager of the season following the 1-0 success over Newcastle on March 15 and the former Bayern Munich boss wants to see that result matched against the Canaries, who will be under the stewardship of Neil Adams for the first time.
"It helps us a lot - this feeling and the atmosphere," he said.
"You feel it this week, the players are free, laughing and so I think it was an important win to go on in fighting against relegation. We need another win in the next game and we will try against Norwich.
"They are not afraid to make mistakes and that is how we have to play and why I'm convinced we will stay in the league. The whole club now believes after the win at Aston Villa."
For Adams, the game at Craven Cottage will be seen as a crucial fixture if he is to keep the Canaries afloat with their last four games coming against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Fulham's run-in is less daunting but Magath feels that every game between now and the end of the season is pivotal to his side's survival bid while suggesting Norwich may have left it too late to replace Chris Hughton in their own fight against the drop.
"For us it doesn't matter who is the opponent because we have only important games now," he said.
"Norwich have a very bad schedule, they have very, very difficult games ahead. They have changed their manager now and this will give them new energy so we will have to be careful.
"You can never say what has happened at another club but they took a manager who knows everything about the club - it is a chance to change something and I think it was a good decision. Maybe it was just a little bit too late."
Former Ipswich striker Darren Bent, currently on loan at Fulham from Villa, will be hoping to start against Norwich having scored in the FA Cup third-round replay victory against the Norfolk club in January.
The England international has not featured on a regular basis under Magath as the German looks to give every player in his squad an opportunity to impress.
He said: "If I come here as a new manager I have to take care of all the players, not only of Darren Bent.
"I have to give everyone a chance to show the fans, the club and me how good he is and I think everybody has had their chance. He will get another chance. Everybody wants to play, if I ask the players everyone tells me they want to play.
"I'm only regarding the training sessions and I have to choose after training who was good and who has convinced me and then I decide who is playing. He is fit this weekend."
Bent will battle it out with Villa Park match-winner Hugo Rodallega and youngster Cauley Woodrow to lead the line on Saturday, with club-record signing Kostas Mitroglou once again ruled out with injury.
The Greece international has made only two appearances since moving to Craven Cottage from Olympiacos in January but Magath did confirm he hopes to have the 26-year-old available for the short trip to Tottenham in a fortnight.