sport

Meulensteen: All about points

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has targeted the busy festive schedule as an opportunity to gain some quick points in their battle to scramble clear of the relegation zone.

The Cottagers travel to Norwich and Hull over the festive period having won just once in their last nine games and sit second-bottom of the Premier League table, albeit only one point behind 17th-placed West Ham.

Their last two games have seen them concede four to both Everton and Manchester City, having secured a valuable 2-0 win at home over Aston Villa. Their December kicked off with a 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham.

And Meulensteen said: "I really see those four games we have just had as four difficult ones.

"Taking over somewhere just before halfway in the season is difficult enough itself and then you end up Spurs, Villa, Everton and City where three of those four teams are pushing for something.

"We knew they were difficult ones but what we are disappointed about is, on the back of the performances, we had, is that we didn't get more points out of those games.

"Now we have another block of games with different opponents - Norwich and Hull to start and then West Ham and Sunderland.

"That is now where we need to look back to these previous games and those performances and turn them into results."

Fulham could have Dimitar Berbatov available on Boxing Day at Carrow Road after missing the City defeat.

"It is going to be another late fitness test and we will have to have a look in the next couple of days," added Meulensteen.

"He has responded well to the treatment in his right abductor but we don't want to be taking any risks.

"It was a late shout for the Manchester City game and we thought it was too much of a risk of him breaking down. Hopefully we can welcome him back for the Norwich game. He has a fairly good chance.

"There is always a slight doubt where the medical staff could tell me to push it back to the Hull game but at the moment I'm positive he can play."

He also confirmed that negotiations are continuing to bring Clint Dempsey back to the club on loan.

"I can confirm the medical and paperwork is still ongoing," he added.

"That is as far as what I know. We'd like to have him here and he would like to come.

"I don't want to get involved in all that. I just want to say 'Hello, Clint' when he is ours and start working with him."