sport

Magath: Hard work priority

Felix Magath insists he has no intention of winning any popularity contests as he attempts to keep Fulham in the Premier League.

The Cottagers are four points adrift of safety ahead of their daunting trip to title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday.

Magath, who replaced Rene Meulensteen last month, is renowned for being a fierce taskmaster and the German has revealed he is not concerned with being liked by his players.

"I'm here to work. Playing football is a job and I try to do my job as well as I can," Magath said.

"I think I know what I'm doing and I'm ready to work with everyone. I have no private interests or relationships here in England.

"I tell the players that I want success and if they want success they must be right with me.

"We are here to work and if we work well and win, we are all happy. If my team loses, I can't be happy."

Fulham gained a confidence boost with last weekend's 1-0 win over Newcastle, their first league victory since beating West Ham on New Year's Day, and Magath believes the clean sheet was just as important as Ashkan Dejagah's winner.

"We've improved in defence and we showed against Newcastle that it's not as easy as before to score against us," he added.

"Man City have tremendous attacking players, but I believe we can stop them scoring. We have improved in defence and we will show that on Saturday.

"It was important to get a clean sheet against Newcastle. The result gives the players the belief they can have a clean sheet.

"But I'm not just thinking about defending, I'm thinking about the initiative of going forward.

"If we keep them far away from our goal, then nothing can happen. It's taken time for the players to get used to my philosophy."