Fulham vs Bolton preview - Etuhu looks for six of the best

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Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 by PA

Fulham vs Bolton preview - Etuhu looks for six of the best

Dickson Etuhu has targeted maximum points from Fulham's next two Barclays Premier League games as they attempt to secure the top-half finish demanded by manager Mark Hughes.

The Cottagers host Bolton on Wednesday night before travelling to Sunderland on Saturday ahead of their final three matches of the season.

Victory against the Trotters would catapult them from 13th to ninth in the table, while a rare away win at the Stadium of Light would give them every chance of ending a topsy-turvy campaign in the top 10.

Six points in the coming days could even see them challenge eighth-placed Bolton, who currently hold a seven-point advantage over the west Londoners.

But midfielder Etuhu told his club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com: "We're not thinking about Bolton - we're thinking about us.

"Respect to Bolton because they've done really well this season. We played at their place earlier on in the season and we got a draw in what was a tough game.

"Their manager, Owen Coyle, has done really well but when they come to our patch, it's not going to be easy for them.

"We're playing at home and everyone knows Fulham are a good team at home.

"The manager has a way he wants us to play and we're working hard on that - we believe we can win every game.

"We go into every game believing that we can win it and that's the case with the games we've got coming up this week.

"We're going to go out there and approach the game in the right manner but we believe we've got enough to win these games."

Fulham's home record in 2011 has been the key to their resurgence from relegation contenders to top-half hopefuls.

They have dropped just two of the last 18 points on offer at Craven Cottage and also won two FA Cup ties there in emphatic fashion.

Their only defeat since the turn of the year came against Bolton in the fifth round of the cup two months ago.

Captain Danny Murphy and star striker Bobby Zamora are expected to be fit to start on Wednesday.

A dead leg forced Murphy off during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wolves, while Zamora was restricted to a late cameo after tweaking his back and hip in training.

It remains to be seen whether winger Damien Duff has recovered sufficiently from his Achilles injury to return after two-and-a-half weeks out.

Meanwhile, Bolton boss Coyle has urged on-loan Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge to keep his feet on the ground and finish the season with a bang.

Coyle is hoping the forward will have recovered from an ankle knock in time to face Fulham having been forced off late in Sunday`s 2-1 win over Arsenal.

The 21-year-old has been a revelation since moving to the Reebok Stadium in January and scored his seventh goal in nine games against the Gunners.

Sturridge was a thorn in Arsene Wenger`s side all afternoon and also won a penalty that would have put Bolton two goals ahead had captain Kevin Davies been able to convert it.

Sturridge's form has seen him linked with a senior England call-up and Coyle has no doubts he can follow in the footsteps of former Bolton loanee Jack Wilshere, now a key member of the Arsenal and England sides, provided he keeps the right attitude.

The Trotters boss said: "How he's developed from being a young boy into a man is testimony to him, and Daniel can do the exact same thing. I've loved working with both of them.

"Whatever's going to come will come his way anyway but he has to make sure that he's concentrating on his job and continues his progress because we all know in football that if you don't then the rug gets pulled from under your feet.

"I've stressed to Daniel on a daily basis that every time he crosses that white line he has to keep showing people that he's the real deal, which he is.

"He's been doing it to this point but we've got five big games between now and the end of the season and I want him to continue that development."

Coyle admitted when Sturridge arrived at the club that he was not expecting to be able to make the move permanent and that is a discussion he will leave for the end of the season.

He added: "We would love to have Daniel here but for that to come to fruition then a number of things need to happen. Obviously Chelsea would need to give their blessing and Daniel would need to want to come back and play the part that he has to this point. That will be for the summer."

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