Brede Hangeland relishing return from suspension against Newcastle

Fulham captain missed three games - with Fulham failing to win any of them

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland cannot wait to return to action on Monday after the unusual experience of watching on from the sidelines.

The 31-year-old has barely missed a game for the Whites since joining the club as a relative unknown from FC Copenhagen nearly five years ago.

The Norway international has been unavailable for the past three matches through suspension, with the Cottagers only managing to collect a single point in his absence.

Hangeland, though, is confident of a return to winning ways when Newcastle visit SW6 on Monday night.

"It's been a new and frustrating experience to be away from games for a few weeks so I can't wait to get back," he told the club's official website, http://www.fulhamfc.com.

"I'm used to playing all the games. I've missed a few games but that's been when I was rested or possibly been injured for one game.

"It's been unusual and it's not something that I want to experience again. I want to get back playing as soon as possible.

"I think any game we play is going to be tight and we know that we can win on a good day and lose on a bad day.

"I expect it to be a hard-fought game again on Monday night under the floodlights. It will be tight but hopefully we can edge it.

"I think we've had a bad spell lately and we've gone too long since our last win and we need to get back on track as soon as possible and play the type of football that we know we're capable of doing and I'm hopeful that we can do that on Monday."

Hangeland has been one of the key talking points at Fulham of late as contract negotiations roll on.

The defender's current deal runs out at the end of the campaign, but reports have suggested a new one will be penned imminently and manager Martin Jol remains confident he will commit his future to the club.

"It only depends on a decision so if Brede says yes it is okay," the Fulham boss said. "If he says no, then we have to wait, talk and negotiate.

"I will ask Alistair [Mackintosh, chief executive officer] what the situation is after the game [against Newcastle] again.

"I am confident he will sign because he loves it here. He is a Fulham player.

"We took him from Scandinavia and I think he loves it here and we offered him a good contract."

Hangeland's return is a welcome boost for Jol, who can also call upon Alex Kacaniklic for Monday's game.

However, Bryan Ruiz faces a further month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and right-back Sascha Riether has to overcome a minor knee sprain if he is to feature against Newcastle.

PA

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