No time for dreaming - Magath
Published 20/02/2014 | 16:07
New Fulham manager Felix Magath has warned now is "not the time to dream" and vowed there is only hard work ahead as the Cottagers battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League.
The German - a Bundesliga winner with Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg - replaced Rene Meulensteen last week and the west London club's third manager of a rollercoaster season has been charged with lifting Fulham out of the relegation zone with only 12 league games remaining.
Magath is set to leave his squad in no uncertain terms of what is expected as they aim to haul themselves off the bottom and make up what is currently a four-point deficit ahead of Saturday's trip to West Brom.
"If you have seen how we played at Wolfsburg that is how I want to see my team and my club, but now we have a special situation - it is not the time to dream," Magath said.
"We have to work, to stay together and fight against relegation. That is all (we have to do) in the next few weeks.
"I have worked with some clubs who were on the bottom, and I was never relegated. I have always had success with them and developed them, made them better.
"But this is not the time to develop, it is time to make points.
"We are behind the others, so it is not good enough for us to make a draw - we have to win, that is the only way we come out."
The Fulham boss added: "The players have a good atmosphere to avoid relegation, we are all working together.
"The first days here were very positive and very good, and I am sure that we will avoid relegation.
"Now we have to concentrate on Saturday's game against West Brom."
Magath has been known for his harsh training regimes back in Germany, and has already called the squad in on what was a scheduled day off last weekend.
However, the 60-year-old insisted there should be no issues with doing whatever it takes to stay up.
"I am a nice guy, very nice (not a tough guy)," he said.
"Ask (Spain forward) Raul about my work, don't ask a player who did not know me here in England. Ask the good players and you will get the right answers."
Magath had been out of work since leaving Wolfsburg for the second time in October 2012.
The German, though, expressed limited sympathy for Meulensteen, his assistant manager Ray Wilkins and first-team technical director Alan Curbishley, who have all left Craven Cottage under a clean break from the old regime.
"I was sacked a few times also, I know the situation and I'm sorry for each coach, but we have here a situation where the management (owner) waited a long time," he said.
"I think if you want to change something you have to do it now.
"It doesn't look like it worked well enough, so I don't care about the reason for the manager before (why he was sacked).
"I don't know what he had done, I don't care.
"I take over my duties and look forward to doing the best I can.
"I have seen where we are in the table and I have to see where it can be improved.
"I don't care about other managers, I have my way of playing."
Magath added: "If you have a team which have no victories, they are a bit uncertain, they have not enough confidence to play forwards, so we have to stay together and fight together, that is the only way we can go up."
Despite all of his positive rhetoric, Magath accepts Fulham still have a tall order to stave off the drop.
"We will need six victories to stay up," he said.
"In the next months we will have a lot of work to avoid relegation, but in the first days here the work we've achieved has been very good.
"I am sure we will avoid relegation with this team as the players are willing to avoid relegation.
"We have a good atmosphere at the club when we all work together.
"We are able to avoid relegation and that is now the most important thing."