Fulham give up Morrison chase

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has admitted defeat in his bid to lure West Ham's Ravel Morrison to Craven Cottage.

The Hammers striker appears surplus to requirements under Sam Allardyce following the return of Andy Carroll, and Morrison is widely expected to be loaned to Championship promotion-chasers QPR.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp revealed he is hoping to recruit the former Manchester United forward for the remainder of the season, and QPR would be favourites to sign Morrison outright if they return to the Premier League.

The Hammers rejected a bid for Morrison from Fulham in January and then accused the west London club of making an illegal approach.

Meulensteen insisted Morrison wanted to join Fulham when speaking after his side's 3-0 FA Cup replay victory over Norwich on January 15, sparking West Ham's grievance.

"There's not very much we can do at this time, and what other clubs do we can't affect," said Meulensteen.

"The only thing I can affect is what we're doing at Fulham."

Fulham host Liverpool on Wednesday night with confidence substantially higher after snatching a 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Sunday.

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been in devastating form this season, and Meulensteen believes trying to shut down the Reds strikers will be one of the biggest challenges of the season.

He said: "How do you stop them? They've had an incredible season, the pace and the penetration, the variety and the unpredictability in the way they can all score goals.

"So it has to be all hands on deck for us to make sure that we defend in a good, compact manner, that we keep communicating, don't leave gaps for them to get through and play through.

"But the defensive performance from Sunday was definitely a massive improvement, and we can build on that."

Meulensteen still holds veteran Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in high esteem and added: "In my opinion he is a top player, definitely. Brendan is looking at the players available and where he will best slot in as well.

"If Lucas would be fit, then probably Lucas would play a bit deeper and Gerrard a bit freer.

"But he probably thinks Gerrard is the best to play the deeper role now, it suits him, he's got the range of passing to do it, so he's still a very important player for Liverpool."