Mark Hughes will send out his Fulham side against Chelsea on Wednesday night urging them to show no fear.

Fulham have never beaten league leaders Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge and their last victory there against their closest London rivals came in 1979.

But Hughes, who spent three years at Stamford Bridge as a player, said: “You have to be positive. Too many teams go to the likes of Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and they are beaten before they go on the pitch. That is not the attitude or the mentality that I want from my team.

“I had a great three years there (at Stamford Bridge). I left Manchester United and everybody would say you were on the way down and that was the end of your career.

“But I went to the right club and was able to win three trophies in three years. The club had started to move in the right direction. I played a small part in where they are today and I am proud of that.”

Hughes has problems in defence where Mexican defender Carlos Salcido is sidelined with ankle ligament damage suffered in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at the weekend. He will be out for three to four weeks. Damien Duff is likely to come in.

Fulham will also be missing defender Chris Baird who has suffered a thigh tear and is likely to be out for 10 days.

But while Hughes accepts it will be a tough night he is confident his side can show the same character which saw them rescue a draw against Villa at the weekend with a late, late goal from Brede Hangeland.

Hughes said: “Chelsea have got a spine of players who have been there a long time and know what it takes to win Premier League games. They can bring from the bench similar quality. They have that strength of character you need to regularly win trophies.

“They have the mentality when they are not particularly playing well to still have the individual talent to win games.

“A draw at Stamford Bridge given our record against Chelsea is a good result but we would like to think we are capable of more.

“My side never know when they are beaten. They keep going to the end and that’s what you want from your players.”

Chelsea, however, have yet to drop a point at home this season, although they did lose a Carling Cup tie to Newcastle by the odd goal in seven.

Hughes warned his players to expect a backlash from Chelsea’s defeat against Liverpool at the weekend.

“They are going to be hurting because of the events of the weekend and they will want to get back on track. That’s another thing we are up against. But it is about our performance level.”