Sport Premier League

Saturday 16 December 2017

Greening hopes Hughes can emulate Hodgson

Mark Hughes. Photo: Getty Images
Mark Hughes. Photo: Getty Images

Fulham midfielder Jonathan Greening hopes the appointment of Mark Hughes will herald a new successful era at Craven Cottage.

Previous manager Roy Hodgson masterminded an incredible transformation of the west London club, taking them from relegation candidates to Europa League finalists during his two-and-a-half-year spell at the club.

The former Wales, Manchester City and Blackburn manager met the squad before they lost 1-0 to Portsmouth in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Greening, who signed a two-year contract this summer following a successful loan from West Brom, was impressed by the meeting with Hughes, and hopes the former Manchester United striker will be able to take the club on after Hodgson's successful reign.

"We met the gaffer about an hour and a half before the game, he said hello to us all," Greening told

"The boys are really looking forward to a new start. We knew that he was coming to watch the game but we didn't expect to meet him before the game - so it was nice that he popped in.

"Mark Hughes was a great player and is a great manager so everyone will be looking up to him.

"(Fulham midfielder) Simon Davies worked with him at Wales and he told us what a good manager he is and how he enjoyed his training sessions. It's a fresh start."

Following Hodgson's departure to Liverpool at the start of July, Fulham were left without a manager for the majority of their pre-season programme and also failed in their efforts to appoint Ajax boss Martin Jol.

Saturday's home friendly with Werder Bremen will be Hughes' only match in charge before the season begins at Bolton on August 14.

Greening is confident that Hughes will inherit a focused squad from temporary manager Ray Lewington, who the Welshman is expected to keep among his backroom staff at Craven Cottage.

"Ray Lewington and (reserve team manager) Billy McKinlay have done a great job with us, we had some great training sessions and the team's really focused," said the midfielder.

"The squad is terrific, we've got a great team spirit and that's why we did so well last season. The main thing is the Gaffer has a good squad to work with."

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