Fulham boss Mark Hughes bemoans timing of Liverpool match

Gael Kakuta was today close to joining Fulham on loan after undergoing a medical.

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes last week revealed his interest in 19-year-old winger Kakuta, who signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Chelsea last month.

Frenchman Kakuta has made 16 appearances for the Blues but only five starts and was an unused substitute in Monday night's 4-0 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton.

Even if he does complete a loan move today, he is unlikely to feature in tonight's game at Liverpool, which Hughes admits may have come at just the wrong time.

The fixture has been rearranged from last month, when the big freeze forced its postponement.

The interim saw Roy Hodgson sacked as manager and replaced by Kenny Dalglish, who has begun to make an impact in what is his second spell in charge.

Hughes, whose own side have since produced their best run of results of the season, said: "Kenny's gone in and he's a huge figure there.

"Everybody seems to be back on board, which wasn't the case before.

"Maybe everyone's on a high there now, and so it's not the best to go there, but so are we, and we're paying well away from home.

"We're picking up points and we don't concede many. We can go there and play well because we have the ability to cause them problems."

Hughes and Dalglish are old adversaries from their playing days at Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively.

Hughes said: "I know Kenny - not socially but I like the guy. He's good company.

"He was always the other end of the pitch from me so thankfully I didn't have to go up against him one v one because he wasn't a bad player by all accounts.

"I know he's been out of the game in terms of having a number one job and all that entails but obviously he was still in and round it. He watched a hell of a lot of football.

"His knowledge base is without question. He'll do fine there."

He added: "If you look at the top end of the table, a lot of the older guys are doing great jobs because maybe, over a period of time, you get the opportunity to get the bigger jobs.

"Us younger guys have got to keep going and make sure you're around and in the discussion when they come up."

Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes are both doubts for Fulham tonight.

Midfielder Etuhu and defender Hughes limped out of Saturday's 2-0 win over Stoke, the former being the bigger concern with a hamstring injury.

His failure to make it would likely see Steve Sidwell handed a full debut at Anfield, where Fulham have never won.