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Mark Hughes is confident Fulham will enjoy a more positive second half to the season and is not worrying about the threat of relegation.

Fulham have struggled during the first half of the campaign and sit in the drop zone after winning just three of their opening 19 Premier League games.

Tuesday’s 2-0 success at Stoke City was a first away from home in the league since August 2009 and helped to lift some of the pressure on Hughes’ shoulders.

Hughes, who replaced Roy Hodgson as manager in the summer, acknowledged the frustration of his opening months in charge, but is feeling upbeat heading into the New Year.

“We are obviously frustrated because of the situation we find ourselves in at the moment, but the second half is likely to give us more enjoyment and success than the first half,” said Hughes.

“The frustration we felt in the first half will disappear, we’ll get players back and we’ll kick on in the second half of the season because invariably teams that are managed by me are stronger in the second half of the season.

“We are more than capable of really kicking on next year.”

Fulham face a London derby at title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day and Hughes wants his team to repeat the performance put in at Stoke.

He added: “The win over Stoke lifted the sense of frustration that we were feeling.

“It was a great team performance and there were some huge individual performances.

“We showed strength of mind to see the game out and we have to replicate that against Tottenham.

“It won’t be easy because they are absolutely flying at the moment but the performance against Stoke was exactly what I was looking for in terms of attitude and application and if we repeat that then we can make it difficult to overcome any team.”