Zamora has no fear – Hughes

Zamora was sidelined for more than six months back in September

with a fractured ankle following a challenge from Henry. Zamora

still bears the physical scars from that day but Hughes is

confident the 30-year-old will not be affected mentally when he

takes on Wolves again. “I think any sense of trepidation was going

to be prevalent when he first went on the pitch,” said Hughes.

“He’s got over that hurdle and now it’s just about making sure he’s

progressing in every game he plays to make sure he’s firing on all

cylinders. “Trepidation doesn’t come into it. There’s no

apprehension in his play, he’s going into tackles, he’s getting

around the pitch, so I think he’s over that.” Neither does Zamora

bear any grudge over what happened back in September. “Certainly,

there was no issue with the challenge,” said Hughes. “It was

unfortunate for Bobby but I don’t think Bobby’s got anything to

prove or (is contemplating) any retribution. “That’s not going to

come into his head. He’s just enjoying being back and playing

football again.” Fulham initially struggled in the absence of their

talisman, who inspired last season’s run to the Europa League

final. They even flirted with relegation but are on the brink of

sealing their survival ahead of the trip to the Premier League’s

bottom side. Hughes was adamant that, had Zamora been fit all

season, 12th-placed Fulham would be well inside the top 10 by now.

He said: “We’ve been involved in games and had too many draws,

unfortunately. Something like 14 draws, I think it is. “I know for

a fact that if Bobby had been available for a number of those

games, he would’ve turned those draws into wins.” The injury to

Zamora prompted captain Danny Murphy to criticise Wolves boss Mick

McCarthy for sending his side out “too pumped up”. Hughes admitted

Murphy can expect a hostile reception on Saturday but does not

believe the row affected his own relationship with McCarthy, who he

has known since the pair were managers of Wales and the Republic of

Ireland, respectively. “We used to go UEFA conferences and have a

beer after listening for hours and hours on end to UEFA and FIFA,”

Hughes said. “After that, you did need a beer! “I’ve known Mick for

a long time, I like his company and I like pitching up against him,

seeing if I can overcome him.” Hughes is also hoping to overcome

Zoltan Gera’s opposition to signing a new contract. “It’s not a

case of us taking what’s on the table away just because he won’t

commit,” said Hughes of the out-of-favour midfielder, whose current

deal expires in the summer. “If we can present something to him

that would enable him to stay then we’ll be pleased. “The reason he

probably hasn’t signed is that he wants more football and, at the

moment, I can’t guarantee that.”