Diomansy and Johnson can fill Fulham void
Fulham boss Mark Hughes believes the returns of Diomansy Kamara and Andy Johnson can paper over the cracks in his forward line.
Hughes was left fuming last week after Tuesday’s Carling Cup defeat to Stoke City when summer signing Mousa Dembele was forced off late in the game following a rash challenge from Andy Wilkinson.
The Cottagers bounced back with a 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday - that saw Kamara make his return to action - to stretch their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign and moved them up to seventh in the table.
Johnson is expected to return to first team training this week ahead of Saturday’s visit to West Ham United, although Hughes - who will be without Bobby Zamora for five months - has warned he will need time to fill the void.
“We’ve lost key personnel with Bobby and Mousa out, so these guys are going to have to get the job done,” he said.
“I’m still getting to know them as a group of players. I have seen Diomansy from afar when I brought teams to Fulham in the past.
“He’s had something like four or five training sessions and half a game, so I haven’t really seen his qualities first hand yet.
“Andy is joining in with the senior squad and we’ve got matches - behind closed doors - organised for his benefit in the coming weeks.
“Hopefully, he’ll get through them okay and he’ll be an option, albeit initially on the bench.”
Hughes was a relieved man after receiving news Dembele was only likely to be missing for a couple of weeks, but he was no less angry about the challenge.
“I would imagine after the international break he'll be fit and well,” he added.
“He’s been very lucky. The challenge was unnecessary and we’re thankful it’s not any more serious.
“At the time I was extremely angry and made my feelings known. I was disappointed by the challenge.
“I've been pleased with what Mousa's produced this season and to not have him available from a tackle so late in the game is frustrating, but we'll get him back as soon as possible.”
Fulham’s next three games: Oct 2 West Ham United (a), 16 Tottenham Hotspur (h), 23 West Brom (a).