Hughes can't see Fulham dropping

Published Nov. 28, 2010 11:43 a.m. ET

Mark Hughes believes Fulham have too much quality to be drawn into a relegation dogfight after seeing them draw 1-1 at home to Birmingham.

A Clint Dempsey equaliser earned the Cottagers a home point in Saturday's Premier League clash.

Sebastien Larsson collected a pass from Alexander Hleb to give City the lead in the 19th minute, but Dempsey ensured they would not record their first away win of the season.

Fulham have now gone five league games without a win but boss Hughes insists there is no need to panic even though they are just one place above the bottom three.

"It was difficult because at 1-0 down they got lots of people behind the ball away from," said Hughes. "We had to keep on going, keep knocking at the door, keep showing belief, which I was really pleased with and we got back on level terms.

"Towards the end of the game the one side that looked like creating something was ourselves. I was pleased with the guys. We are missing a number of key players.

"We have missed these key players in the attacking third and that will affect your momentum and fluidity of your play.


"We have just got to keep going. The guys are working exceptionally hard to get points on the board. Birmingham are probably more pleased with the point than we are.

"We are very aware of where we are, you only have to look at the table. But we only five points away from seventh, so you can look at it both ways.

"But what we have to do is keep that belief that I saw in abundance today. We have too much quality and just need to get a few players back."

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is not concerned they have yet to win away from home since last season.

The Blues chief maintains that staying in the top flight is much more important and is happy if they can take a point away from home every few weeks.

"I couldn't care less," said McLeish. "If we can keeping winning at home and take four points out of six every two games, I think we will be okay.

"Some day we will win away from home but nobody has discussed that at all.

"It is not easy to win away from home. There are no guarantees you can do it. We might never win away in the next two years but as long as we are in the Barclays Premier League I will be delighted.

"I thought we played very well in the first-half. The goal was magnificent. It was nice to see Hleb looking a lot sharper. He linked-up nicely.

"We are still trying to get him to a level where he can last 90 minutes. He got a bit of cramp and had to come off and we hope it is nothing more than that. He will benefit from getting the minutes.

"We have got better as the season has progressed in terms of attacking. But we need to hold the ball up better. We can improve on that."