Hughes tips Blues pair to 'gel'

BY foxsports • February 13, 2011

The Blues' £74million strikeforce will start together for the second time in Monday night's west London derby at Craven Cottage. Expectations of the duo are high following Torres' £50million transfer from Liverpool and Hughes believes they will deliver, but not overnight. "I expect them to gel together. They are good players so it will be interesting to see how the team shapes up," said the Fulham boss. "In the last few years with all its success, Chelsea have been based around a focal point which has been Drogba. "He has a few others which support him as well - will that change with Torres? We will see. "There is an expectation that the boy will play. "I know (Chelsea manager) Carlo Ancelotti has played the diamond before so there could be a different formation now. "Carlo has been working with formations all his life and will find the right fit, but with Torres it initially may take time." The acquisition of Torres and fellow new signing David Luiz on transfer deadline day for a combined fee of £75million has been declared a statement of intent by Chelsea. Hughes, who believes the Blues' main target this season is now Champions League qualification after ruling them out of the title race, believes they are under pressure to deliver. "Chelsea have bought those two players to get into the Champions Leagues but coming in January is tough," he said. "There is an idea that they have to make the difference. If they don't get into the Champions League then questions may be asked. "But it isn't much of a risk signing these players because they are surrounded by quality and that can help you." Dickson Etuhu has failed to recover from his hamstring injury so Steve Sidwell will continue to deputise in Fulham's midfield against his former club on Monday. Sidwell has played in five matches since his arrival in January, winning three and drawing one, and Hughes is very delighted with the new arrival from Aston Villa. "Steve has done really well so I'm really pleased with him," he said. "Credit to him, he has not had a great deal of football and we have thrown him straight into the team because needs must. "He is in great nick and has got up to the pace of the Premier League very quickly. "He has looked after himself - he could have been disappointed at not playing at Villa but he kept focused and trained correctly. That has enabled him to hit the ground running. "Steve and Danny Murphy have worked really well together. "Dickson has done really well there as well, so we are comfortable in central midfield."

share story