Select Page

Fulham manager Mark Hughes likens the return of Andrew Johnson to completing a new signing as the Fulham striker prepares to make his Fulham comeback.

Johnson will play some part in the Barclays Premier League clash with West Brom at the Hawthorns after recovering from a combination of shoulder, knee and hip problems.

The 29-year-old participated in a development match against Southampton in midweek and Hughes insists he is ready to resume a career that has been heavily interrupted by injury.

“Andy should be OK. He came through 90 minutes and we’re pleased with that,” said Hughes.

“It was the good challenge that he needed to clear his mind. He’s available for selection.

“We’ll look at the option of starting Andy but it would be more advisable to introduce him slowly and see how he goes.

“He’s looked very sharp and we’re pleased that he’s back.

“He’s a significant player for us and it’s like making a new signing.

“Hopefully he’ll stay free of injury now and he can concentrate on making a real impact.”

Fulham are hoping to register their first away win since the opening day of last season, a sequence spanning 22 games.

They have drawn all four matches on the road this term and Hughes believes that elusive victory will arrive soon.

“We’ve set about trying to improve our away record and we’re reasonably pleased with our form in that respect,” he said.

“We’ve picked up points which is important. Ideally we want to get three points, that’s important from a confidence point of view.

“At times we show a few of the scars from the fact we haven’t won on the road for so long. We must overcome that and stay positive.

“The win will come because we’re playing well enough.”

West Brom lie sixth in the table, are unbeaten at home and have won away at Arsenal and held Manchester United to a draw at Old Trafford.

“If you look at the games and opposition they’ve played, they’ve done exceptionally well,” said Hughes.

“They’ve acquitted themselves very well against some of the better teams in the league.

“It’s a big test for us because they’re an accomplished side who are confident after the results they’ve had.”