Dimitar Berbatov 'vital' to Fulham's hopes of escaping relegation, says Aaron Hughes

The striker's agent has said his client is unhappy and wants to leave in January

Dimitar Berbatov will be “vital” to Fulham's chances of avoiding Barclays Premier League relegation, according to defender Aaron Hughes.

Berbatov's agent has already confirmed the Bulgaria striker is "not happy" at Fulham and will seek a transfer in the January window.

But centre-back Hughes admits Fulham must do all they can to retain one of their top talents.

Berbatov's through-ball handed Fulham their goal in 2-1 defeat to Spurs on Wednesday night, Ahskan Dejagah finishing coolly past Hugo Lloris.

The Craven Cottage men could not claim victory though, extending their run of league defeats to six.

Tipping Berbatov to continue to uphold great influence on Fulham despite hankering for an exit, Hughes said: "He is a vital player for us.

"You have seen in his performance last night the role and the contribution he has in our team.

"We need all of our players performing at the highest levels they can.

"Those performances are brilliant for us, not only on the ball, but his work rate and not making it easy for their midfielders.

"He played a big part in the performances last night."

Spurs hit back for victory with goals from Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby, flooring Fulham who had led past the hour mark.

The Cottagers host Aston Villa in west London on Sunday, seeking their first win under the sole control of Rene Meulensteen.

Hughes called on the Fulham squad to shoulder some of the burden for Martin Jol's exit.

He said: "When results are not good everyone looks at the manager but the players have to take responsibility as well.

"It is very easy to point fingers and blame others but we wanted to stick together and show we are still there fighting.

"With the performance we put in, we might have been unlucky not to get something.

"We wanted to make sure we had a performance with a lot of energy

"That is what has been disappointing over the last few games, sometimes the energy levels were not there.

"It took two good strikes to undo us last night.

"We are disappointed we have not got anything but there are obviously a lot of positives to be taken from the game."

Demanding Fulham keep focus as the new managerial reign takes effect, Hughes said little has changed since Dutchman Jol's departure last weekend.

He said: "When you have been in football for a certain amount of time, you get used to things like that happening.

"We can't do anything about it, we have just got to keep going, which we did.

"As far as on the training pitch, nothing really has changed too much because Rene had been in to help before.

"The old manager left and there have been a few little distractions but we spoke about keeping our focus."


Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform