Mark Hughes insisted his decision to field his strongest line-up for Fulham’s FA Cup thumping of Peterborough would help his side’s fight for Barclays Premier League survival.
The Cottagers proved they were serious about another crack at the cup this afternoon after crushing their npower League One opponents 6-2 at Craven Cottage.
Hughes could have been forgiven for resting some of his stars to keep them fresh for Saturday’s trip to fellow strugglers Wigan.
But the Fulham boss believes it was far more important to maintain the momentum gained from two wins in their previous three games.
“We want to have a good run. I think that’s important,” said Hughes, whose side reached back-to-back quarter-finals under predecessor Roy Hodgson.
“We’re playing well at the moment and it’s important that we have continuity to our performances and selection.
“That was the thinking behind it. We’ve got plenty of time to recover before the next game as well, so I was pleased.”
He added: “We’ve got a big game next week away, so it’s important we go into that game on a positive note, which we certainly have done with today’s performance.”
Diomansy Kamara stole the headlines today with his first hat-trick in English football, while Dickson Etuhu and substitutes Zoltan Gera and Jonathan Greening also found the target.
Hughes said: “Obviously pleased for individuals as well – Joe Kamara scoring and pleased with his performance.
“Jonathan Greening I was pleased for as well. He hadn’t had a lot of football but came on and made an impact, scored goals.
“So a lot of positives.”
Fulham wasted numerous chances to humiliate their opponents, who were actually by far the better team in the opening five minutes, forcing two fine saves from David Stockdale.
Admitting his side were almost caught “cold”, Hughes said: “If they’d produced then, it could have been a different day.
“It’s always important to go in with the right mindset when you go up against lower-league opposition.
“There are historically many examples of teams that have underestimated lower opposition and we weren’t going to allow that to happen to us.”
Hughes is trying to strengthen his squad during the transfer window and yesterday made his first January signing in Aston Villa misfit Steve Sidwell.
“He needs a number of games just to get up to speed, because he hasn’t been playing a lot of 11 v 11 football,” Hughes said.
“He’s not come here with any guarantees he’ll play from the beginning.”