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Premier League

New Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has spirit of Sir Alex Ferguson

Rene Meulensteen had no experience of relegation battles during his six years as Sir Alex Ferguson's first team coach at Manchester United, but said he would draw on the Scot's influence as he attempts to turn Fulham's fortunes around.

After a run of six League defeats, Fulham, who face Aston Villa at Craven Cottage today, are in desperate trouble but their new Dutch manager can see a way out. "I've been fortunate to sit alongside one of the most successful managers in Sir Alex Ferguson," he said. "He taught me a lot but the one thing that stood by me, in life, in football – you're faced constantly by challenges. You want challenges, and sometimes they are in adversity.

"The most important thing is to accept the challenge, embrace the challenge, and enjoy taking that challenge on. I will definitely draw into the experiences I've had of Sir Alex Ferguson."

Fulham v Aston Villa is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 1.30pm