Hughes: Murphy can be top-10 hit

BY foxsports • February 6, 2011

The Cottagers have revived their fortunes in recent weeks after being too close to the bottom of the table for comfort. But even through their lean times, 33-year-old Murphy was a consistent performer and he drew praise from Hughes and his former boss Gerard Houllier after Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aston Villa. Hughes said: "Danny was excellent again. He has been really consistent this year in fairness. "Early in the season, we weren't getting many plaudits because we were struggling to pick up points. "Right through the season from the start to now, Danny has put consistently excellent performances together. "He has driven the team on. At the moment we are getting positive results and people are recognising the job that Danny has done this year." Houllier, who was Murphy's boss at Liverpool, said: "I thought Danny Murphy was good. I am sorry to say that! "Danny is playing with his head. I understand why they gave him a new contract because he is a tremendous passer. "I know Danny and he's always looked after himself. He's not a silly boy, he loves the game and he wants to play." Fulham have won only one of their last 31 away games but there were encouraging signs at Villa Park as they twice recovered to earn a share of the spoils. An own goal from John Pantsil and Kyle Walker's first ever league goals were cancelled out by Andrew Johnson and Clint Dempsey. Hughes said: "In our games now, we finish stronger. That is a quality that has been growing since we came into the New Year. "We are playing well, driving games, and trying to ask questions of the opposition. "We have to keep picking up points because we want to get into that top half of the table. "If results had been a little bit more as we expected this weekend, then possibly we would have been in that top 10 position already. "But we are happy enough with where we are at the moment, we are playing well and picking up points." Fulham's former Villa midfielder, Steve Sidwell, said: "The need to improve their away record was drummed into the boys as soon as I went there. "Craven Cottage is a fortress, but we need to pick up points away and slowly but surely we're doing that. "It's something to improve and build on."

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