Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rene Sleeps Well despite Nightmare Scenarios

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rene Sleeps Well despite Nightmare Scenarios

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro Football Correspondent

RENE MEULENSTEEN is confident he has the full backing of the Fulham board but asked whether owner Shahid Khan was happy with the progress being made at Craven Cottage, the head coach's response seemed to sum up the mood.

"You can hardly call it progress, can you?" joked Meulensteen ahead of tonight's FA Cup fourth-round replay with Sheffield United. The answer was light-hearted but that feeling will be echoed by many supporters of the Premier League's bottom club.

Fulham have lost eight out of 11 League games since Meulensteen replaced Martin Jol in December and there are few signs they have enough to get out of trouble. They are three points from safety following four straight defeats, with three of their next four fixtures against Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Meulensteen hopes a host of deadline-day arrivals will make the difference and insists he is not concerned by speculation surrounding his future.

Reports suggest Alan Curbishley, who was appointed technical director over Christmas, is being lined up to replace him but head coach Meulensteen said: "I do not lose a moment's sleep over it. I brought Alan into this club and we are all in this together. He is 100 per cent supportive of me."

Meulensteen says he has the support of Khan, who has backed his man in the transfer market but will be concerned by a team seemingly lacking in confidence.

"I have only respect and admiration for the support he [Khan] has given me and the club in the transfer window," said Meulensteen, who is holding regular talks with the American. "He is a very successful man in business. He does not do anything knee-jerk, he thinks about things and he trusts people to do the right things. All I can do is live up to his expectations and that is what I intend to do."

Meulensteen believes Fulham need seven wins from their remaining 14 games to stay up but, worryingly, they still have to play seven of the top eight. …

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