Premier League Preview: Fulham v Norwich City
By Football News
New boss Neil Adams hopes his appointment will provide a timely boost for Norwich City, starting with Saturday's crunch clash at Fulham.
The Norfolk club parted company with Chris Hughton on Sunday following a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of fellow-strugglers West Brom 24 hours earlier.
The Carrow Road outfit have won just twice in their past 11 Premier League matches, leading the board to take the decision to relieve Hughton of his duties with just five games remaining.
Hughton was replaced by Adams, a former Norwich player who masterminded the club's FA Youth Cup triumph last season, and the 48-year-old wants his side to harness the change in management when they visit Craven Cottage.
"Hopefully what's happened here this week gives us fresh impetus and if training is anything to go by, we're going down there with confidence," he told the club's official website.
"It (management) is different. The phone doesn't stop ringing, there's a million and one things to do but I'm loving it.
"I've got good help and support from the staff we've got here and I'm thoroughly enjoying it."
The visitors come into the game with a five-point cushion over a Fulham side sitting directly below them in the table, but with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal making up their last four games, Adams will know he has to hit the ground running.
Fulham's final fixtures appear to be decidedly kinder - Felix Magath's men also face Tottenham, Hull City, Stoke City and Crystal Palace - so a win for the hosts would really set nerves jangling around Carrow Road.
The German, who took over from Rene Meulensteen in February, oversaw just his second league win in charge of the London club last time out as Hugo Rodallega's late header sealed a much-needed 2-1 success at Aston Villa.
"We needed a win and fortunately we got it," he said in a press conference on Thursday.
"It helps a lot. It's an important win. I am convinced we will stay in the league. I think we have to win on Saturday, and then we go from there."
That may prove to be a task that is easier said than done for a Fulham side that have won just once in their last six home matches in all competitions.
The London club have the worst defensive record in the top flight, having conceded 74 goals, but a lack of goals has been a real problem for Norwich, as they have only found the back of the net 26 times - the second-lowest tally in the division.
Norwich's away record will also be a concern for Adams, as they have suffered seven successive defeats on the road and not win on their travels since December 7.
Magath confirmed that Kostas Mitroglou is still unavailable due to a knee injury and Moussa Dembele will not feature due to his participation in the Dallas Cup. Scott Parker, Dan Burn and Giorgos Karagounis are all in contention.
Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer looks unlikely to play any part due to a hamstring problem, while defenders Ryan Bennett (knock) and Joseph Yobo (calf) are again doubtful.