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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson insists that victory against champions Manchester United this weekend is a must if the Cottagers are to avoid being sucked further into the relegation mire at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

Hodgson’s side face United at Craven Cottage and defeat will only heighten fears that the west London side are destined for the drop.

“We need to win,” said Hodgson. “We need to win our home games and some away games as well.

“We will concentrate on preparing the team for the game and getting the maximum out of the 11 players and I hope the performances will give us the results we need.

“There is an element of luck and sometimes you can play well and lose, or play badly and win.

“I am very much aware that wins are the order of the day for us and if we don’t get some soon then our predicament will worsen.”

Fulham have 11 games to change their fortunes around but Hodgson is well aware that results of other teams will also play a part in their destiny.

He explained: “We are not alone in the position we find ourselves in.

“There are as many as six or seven clubs who are not 100% confident that they are not going to get drawn into a relegation battle and find themselves needing points in the last few games of the season.

“It depends not only upon us and the wins we’re getting but it also depends on what’s going on around us.

“If we work on the basis that 40 points is a minimum then it’s pretty easy to work out how many wins we’ll need – but I don’t know how many points will be sufficient for safety this year.

“If the top teams keep disposing of the bottom teams then the points total will be lower. I don’t like thinking of it in those terms.

“I like to concentrate on the game ahead and make certain that I as a coach, and the players as players, are ready for the game.”

Meanwhile Fulham defender Brede Hangeland is ready to do battle with United once more on Saturday after tasting victory over the Reds while with FC Copenhagen last season.

Hangeland may be a newcomer to the Barclays Premier League, having joined Fulham during the January transfer window, but the tall defender knows just what it takes to beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s champions.

The Norwegian played in both of FC Copenhagen’s Champions League ties against United last season – a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford and a 1-0 victory in Denmark.

“That was one of the biggest games I’ve played and if we could do it again it would be equally as big,” said Hangeland.

“We played above our level and I think you have to do that to beat Manchester United. We’ll have to do that on Saturday if we want to win.

“They’re a fantastic side with world class players all over the field and we should look forward to the occasion.

“I’ll do the job the manager tells me to do, if it’s marking Wayne Rooney or whoever, I’ll do my best.”