Aaron Hughes was delighted to make his 400th Premier League appearance in Fulham’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday – even if he didn’t realise he was on the cusp of the landmark until just before the fixture.
I didn’t actually realise until somebody reminded me over the last couple of days. f I think back to the start of my career, if I’d been told I’d make 100 appearances, I’d have been over the moon. It’s something I’ll look back on when I finish playing and I’ll be very proud of, but hopefully there’s a few more left in me and I’ll keep going on as long as possible.
The Northern Ireland skipper, who scored his first goal for his country on Wednesday, says that a good diet and Fulham’s medical staff are the main reason he’s been able to rack up the appearances.
You’ve got to take personal responsibility for yourself and how you train and eat. Also the guys behind the scenes at the Club do a lot to look after the players to make sure we’re in top shape on a Saturday.
The 31 year-old was happy to play at right back rather than centre half during Saturday’s league opener too.
I’ve never complained about playing anywhere. If that’s what the Manager’s asks me to do, that’s what I’ll do. At the end of the day it’s a chance to play so I’ll just get on with it.
We’ll take the point from last weekend and it was important to get a clean sheet against Villa. If we can keep that up at home we’ve always got a good chance of winning games and Saturday’s result is something to build on.
Hughes and his team-mates are now looking forward to Thursday’s test against Ukrainian outfit Dnipro.
It’ll be a tough test against FC Dnipro on Thursday night. It’s a tough draw but the incentive is there. We know what the reward is if we can get through and we’ll be confident after keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa. The important thing is to have a solid first leg at the Cottage.
You’ve no control over which team you will get in the draw, you’ve just got to prepare properly and as much as you’re aware of the opposition, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, you’ve got to focus on your own game as well.
We know from our previous experiences in the Europa League that you have to just take it one game at a time. We’ll do the same this time, do our homework and prepare properly for Thursday’s game.
Last season was perhaps a little bit strange because we didn’t have those midweek games. That’s how it was two years ago when we were in the Europa League. We’re back into it and if it means we can go all the way to the Final, we’ll take that!”