Aaron Hughes has spoken to the Official Website today talking about how the second leg of the Crusaders tie on Thursday will be just as tough as the first, despite leading 3-1:

“They [Crusaders] did extremely well last week, and we should expect more of the same on Thursday night. They have nothing to lose and they’ll love the experience of playing at Craven Cottage.

“They may trail 3-1, but they’ll be up for this one, make no mistake about that. They will go out, give their all and see what happens. I’ve been in teams that were considered the underdog before and it spurs you on – you want to do all you can to upset the odds.

“They made life very difficult at times last week [in Belfast] and it was important for us to get a few goals and take a lead back with us. We always have confidence that we can get the better of any team at the Cottage, so the aim is to see the game through and finish the job.”

He also had a few words of praise for new signing John Arne Riise and expects a few more additions before the end of August:

“He’s [John Arne Riise] a fantastic signing for this Club and he has been one of Europe’s top left-backs for a number of years. He’s played for some great clubs and comes in with talent and experience.

“He should have no problem settling in because he has already shown that he can play in the Premier League. It’s an exciting acquisition and I’m sure he’ll become a valuable member of the squad. The Club have made a real statement in regards to the type of player that they want to bring in.

“We have seen a few senior members depart and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more came in. A new manager will always want to make additions, but at the same time we’re also seeing a number of the younger players get their chance.

“So perhaps we’ll see a mix of the two. I don’t think too many changes need to be made, but as always the summer months inevitably see players come and go.”

He also had a few things to say on Karim Frei:

“I tweeted about Kerim after the Crusaders game because I was just very impressed by what I saw. I had heard a lot about him coming up through the ranks and just thought for a 17-year-old making his debut he was so assured.

“He [Frei] has great feet, great close control and a lot of skill. He’s put himself in a good position and shown what he can do, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Dan said the other week that when he spoke to Hughes he mentioned how many times Frei ran at him and just completely dazzled him with his skill. Sounds promising! Also I’m praying for a Fulham win; I promised my sister all my birthday money if we don’t. Gulp.