Dickson Etuhu targets top-half finish for Fulham

Dickson Etuhu has targeted maximum points from Fulham's next two Barclays Premier League games as they attempt to secure the top-half finish demanded by manager Mark Hughes.

The Cottagers host Bolton tomorrow night before travelling to Sunderland on Saturday ahead of their final three matches of the season.

Victory tomorrow would catapult them from 13th to ninth in the table, while a rare away win at the Stadium of Light would give them every chance of ending a topsy-turvy campaign in the top 10.

Six points in the coming days could even see them challenge eighth-placed Bolton, who currently hold a seven-point advantage over the west Londoners.

But midfielder Etuhu told his club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com: "We're not thinking about Bolton - we're thinking about us.

"Respect to Bolton because they've done really well this season. We played at their place earlier on in the season and we got a draw in what was a tough game.

"Their manager, Owen Coyle, has done really well but when they come to our patch, it's not going to be easy for them.

"We're playing at home and everyone knows Fulham are a good team at home.

"The manager has a way he wants us to play and we're working hard on that - we believe we can win every game.

"We go into every game believing that we can win it and that's the case with the games we've got coming up this week.

"We're going to go out there and approach the game in the right manner but we believe we've got enough to win these games."

Fulham's home record in 2011 has been the key to their resurgence from relegation contenders to top-half hopefuls.

They have dropped just two of the last 18 points on offer at Craven Cottage and also won two FA Cup ties there in emphatic fashion.

Their only defeat since the turn of the year came against Bolton in the fifth round of the cup two months ago.

Etuhu's fellow midfielder Simon Davies said: "That was a frustrating day, they scored an early goal and we were trying to break them down but we couldn't do it.

"We've got five games left, it's a shame we've had too many draws which has held us back, but with five games to go we'll be looking to pick up at least a couple of wins.

"They'll be looking to come and give a good account of themselves. We're going to have to be on our game and take the game to them."

Hughes must decide whether to recall star striker Bobby Zamora, who was restricted to a late cameo in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wolves after tweaking his back and hip in training.

The 30-year-old is not yet 100% fit after spending six months out with a broken leg and Hughes will not take any chances with him.

He said: "Bobby had a problem after training on Thursday with his back and his hip flexors.

"He didn't train on Friday and we had to work on him all day and Friday night, then he had more treatment on Saturday morning.

"He said he was okay - put his hand up and he wanted to play - but we have got a busy week this week, so it is important that we protect him.

"Obviously, he has had a long-term injury so we are very careful with him.

"I didn't think he was right to start but obviously he has made an impact after coming on."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future