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Hughes looks to home as Fulham face Shakhtar

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes admits he would rather win the FA Cup than the Europa League. The Cottagers are chasing silverware on two fronts with their next assignment tonight's European clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of the round of 32.

A 4-0 thumping of Notts County on Sunday has also sent them galloping into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Hughes insists that for Fulham to be contemplating silverware is remarkable, but looks closer to home when it comes to his preference.

"I'd rather win the FA Cup because it's a domestic competition and as a kid growing up it's the one you think about," he said.

"For us to even talk about winning either of them is a massive thing. But the FA Cup still has that something special, especially now it's back at Wembley. It's a massive day.

"That said, if we could progress in the Europa League I wouldn't say no."

Fulham are enjoying another fine season but Hughes admits Shakhtar, the reigning champions, have the capacity to dent their ambitions tonight.

"European nights are always good fun. They're a nice break from the domestic season and the teams you face there," he said.

"You face new teams from different countries who have different styles of play.

"We've been enjoying it and giving it a good go. Now we find ourselves up against a side that has shown they're capable of winning it.

"They're a good, technical side and it will be a tough game, but we'll give our best."

Fulham could conceivably qualify for the Champions League if a new proposal to introduce a play-off for the fourth qualifying spot is introduced. The idea would see the teams placed fourth down to seventh battle it out for a place in Europe's most prestigious competition, but Hughes is sceptical over the idea.

"If you work hard enough to finish in fourth place over the course of a season, you deserve to qualify," he said.

"Having accumulated enough points to finish fourth, to then have to play another couple of games would be tough."