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Premier League

Mark Hughes happy with Mohamed Al Fayed's Fulham training ground rant

Mark Hughes insists that Mohamed Al Fayed had every right to deliver a dressing down to the Fulham squad after their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend.

The flamboyant Fulham owner vented his fury at the players at the club's training ground on Tuesday - their first day back following the humiliating defeat against Hughes' former employers.

Al Fayed has been no stranger to controversy since he bought the club in 1997.

He slammed former manager Roy Hodgson for joining Liverpool after guiding the team through arguably its most successful period in history and once said FIFA was run by "idiots".

But the Egyptian, who is a regular at Fulham games, was not meddling in first-team affairs according to Hughes, who hopes the ticking off will inspire his team to a much-needed victory against Birmingham tomorrow.

"Yes, he (Al Fayed) came down to the training ground," Hughes confirmed.

"He is obviously the chairman and takes a real active interest in the club.

"He's at all the home games and chats with the guys so it was good to see him.

"It was good that the players heard his views of the performance at the weekend.

"We had obviously already discussed what we felt about the game as a group of players and management so his input was noted and obviously we want to build on what we feel we have achieved this season in terms of performance level.

"We hope it helps us win tomorrow's match."

The defeat, in which Fulham were comprehensively outplayed, left the Londoners outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Hughes admits the performance against City was disappointing and has already started making plans to bolster the squad in January.

He is aware, however, that he must not waste any of the limited resources he will be given in the transfer window.

"Things have been discussed already," Hughes said.

"If opportunities present themselves and they are within our means then we will try to add to the quality of the club.

"You can't make changes just for the sake of it though.

"Sometimes the players you need to bring in in those positions aren't available."

Hughes denied that CFR Cluj striker Lacina Traore is on his wish list and hinted that acquiring the likes of Shay Given, Roque Santa Cruz and Shaun Wright-Phillips, who have all been linked with the club in media reports this morning, would be beyond his means.

"We get linked with a lot of players here," the former Manchester United striker said.

"There were a number in the press today. More often that not they are wide of the mark and that's what I would suggest is the case with some of the names that have been mentioned this morning."

Fulham's preparations for tomorrow's match at Craven Cottage have been dealt a blow by the news that Andy Johnson has joined fellow strikers Bobby Zamora (leg) and Mousa Dembele (ankle) on the sidelines.

The 29-year-old, who has just returned from a nine-month layoff, injured his hamstring in training but Hughes played down fears that the hitman is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

"Andy has a bit of irritation at the bottom of his hamstring," Hughes explained.

"We have to be careful with him obviously because he's had two back to back games after a long time out so we don't want to compromise him so we're erring on the side of safety."

The Welshman is not concerned with the club's slide towards the relegation zone despite having not won in four matches.

"At the moment we are alongside a number of clubs where a couple of wins shoots you up the table so we need to do that," Hughes said.

"We are better than our position in the league suggests. We need to get points on the board to prove that."