Fulham v Tottenham: Rene Meulensteen targets 'work rate and discipline' in bid to escape relegation battle

The Dutchman takes charge of his first match following the departure of Martin Jol

New Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen knows hard work is the only way his players are going to turn their season around.

Dutchman Meulensteen takes charge of the side for the first time against Tottenham on Wednesday night after stepping into the Craven Cottage hot-seat after Martin Jol was saked in the wake of a 3-0 defeat at West Ham, a sixth consecutive defeat leaving them 18th in the Barclays Premier League.

Meulensteen, 49, only arrived at the west London club last month to work under Jol, whom he had known for many years, but firmly believes there must be a positive mental attitude to the challenges ahead.

"Fulham have had too many poor results and we must now create a platform to get away from our position," he said.

"We need to make sure the players take responsibility, with work-rate and their discipline."

Right-back Sascha Riether will return from a three-match suspension for the clash with Spurs after he was handed a retrsopective ban for stamping on Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj was not seen by the match officials at the time, but caught on video.

Defender Brede Hangeland could be back after a sciatic nerve problem, while striker Dimitar Berbatov is also expected to be fit following illness.

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes feels the players must stay positive for the challenges ahead.

"We have just got to keep going and believing in ourselves. When you are in the middle of a bad run the last thing you want to do is let your head drop, feel sorry for yourself and make excuses," he said.

"We just have to all pull together and try and get through this busy period coming up when there are a lot of games and you can pick up a lot of points quickly.

"We have to try and be positive and take the things we are doing on the training pitch into games."

Fulham now have two successive home matches, with Aston Villa the visitors on Sunday, which Hughes feels can help the Cottagers turn the corner.

"If we can take six points from the next two games, the table would look completely different," the centre-back added.

"That is what we're aiming for.

"We will look at the West Ham game and figure out where we went wrong, and then prepare for Spurs and Villa."

Meulensteen had two spells on Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom staff at Manchester United, but his experience as head coach are limited, with just 17 days in charge at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala while previous management roles came at Brondby and in Qatar with Al-Gharafa and Al-Sadd.

The new Cottagers boss has moved quickly to bring in his own men behind the scenes in a reshuffle following Jol's two-and-a-half years at the club.

Former Manchester United academy coach Jonathan Hill has come in, while Kit Symons, the current development team manager, will also be assisting with first-team training.

Meanwhile, Fulham confirmed Jol's brother Cornelis, who worked as football operations manager, plus coaches Michael Lindeman and Billy McKinlay have also left Craven Cottage.

PA

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas