Football

Published: Friday April 11, 2014 MYT 12:43:42 AM
Updated: Friday April 11, 2014 MYT 12:44:58 AM

Magath convinced Fulham will avoid the drop

(Reuters) - Felix Magath is "convinced" Fulham can avoid relegation from the Premier League this season and believes they will take a step closer to survival with victory over fellow strugglers Norwich City at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Eighteenth-placed Fulham, who have 27 points from 33 matches, claimed a vital three points with a win over Aston Villa last weekend and Magath is adamant the club has been rejuvenated as a result.

"I think the whole club now believes after the win in Aston Villa that we will stay in the league," Magath told reporters on Thursday.

"They (the players) are playing very well and they have fun when they play and they are not afraid of making mistakes.

"That is the way we have to play, so we are in a good way and that's why I am convinced that we will stay in the league.

"We need another win in our next game and so we will try to do that on Saturday against Norwich."

German Magath replaced Rene Meulensteen as head coach in February and, despite just two victories during his seven games in charge, the former Bayern Munich boss says he is transforming the mentality at the west London club.

"It was very important to change the atmosphere because players, if they have no success, are not confident," he continued.

"That is what has changed now, and in the training sessions you see it is a different team than it was before. You feel, this week, the players are free."

Norwich, who are 17th and have a five-point advantage over Fulham, sacked Chris Hughton on Sunday and replaced him with youth team coach Neil Adams.

Magath thinks Norwich made the correct decision in dismissing the Irishman, but feels with five games remaining this season it may be too little too late.

"They've changed the manager now so that will give them a new energy," he added. "We have to be careful as they will fight for 90 minutes and it will not be an easy game for us.

"I think for them it's a chance to change something at the end of the season and I think it's a decision that's maybe very good for them, (but) maybe it's a little bit too late."

(Reporting By Michael Hann; editing by Josh Reich)

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