Hughes keen to take out Old Lady

Aaron Hughes is hoping to send out a warning to the rest of Europe

by helping Fulham claim the scalp of Juventus in Thursday’s Europa


Hughes will lead out the Cottagers at the Stadio Olimpico di

Torino for the first leg of the last 16 tie.

Juventus are one of the giants of the Italian game but they

have not won a trophy since being relegated for their part in the

match fixing scandal in 2006 – and currently sit fifth in Serie A.

Conversely, Fulham are enjoying their most successful

European campaign in history and Hughes believes a win over the

Bianconeri could make everyone sit up and take notice of the west

London side.

“It would be a massive scalp,” said Hughes, who will lead the

side in the absence of the suspended Danny Murphy.

“Maybe they’re not in the best form at the moment but that

doesn’t make a difference as far as we’re concerned.

“If we could get something from the two legs and progress

then it would be a massive result for us.

“It would definitely stick out in the club’s history and a

few people across Europe would sit up and take note of the result.”

Thursday night’s game will be the Hughes’ 43rd game of the

season for Fulham, who have enjoyed cup success domestically as

well as in Europe.

The Cottagers face a tough trip to Old Trafford to face

Premier League leaders Manchester United on Sunday before hosting

Juve at Craven Cottage in the second leg.

Hughes admits he is starting to feel fatigued but is

nevertheless happy to allow his body to get through the remainder

of the month on adrenaline.

“Sometimes you get more mentally tired than you do

physically,” the 30-year-old said. “But you forget about the

tiredness when you’ve got Juventus on the Thursday followed by

Manchester United on a Sunday.

“If someone had told me when I was eight or nine years old

that in 20 years’ time you’d be playing Juve, Man United and then

Juve again, well I wouldn’t believe them. It’s something that we’re

all looking forward to.”

Fulham on Wednesday forfeited their right to train at the

stadium in an attempt to protect the pitch, which has been covered

in heavy snow.

Roy Hodgson’s side instead trained indoors at Juventus’

training ground and the 62-year-old admits preparations for the

match could have been better.

He said: “It will be difficult and will cut up badly but it’s

not a drawback, not enormously. It can’t be that bad. It will be

105 metres long by 68 metres wide so I’ll take my chances.”