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Fulham defender Aaron Hughes has urged his side to turn in a robust defensive display similar to the one that saw them win 1-0 at Sunderland when they face Newcastle on Saturday.

Martin Jol’s side have struggled since then, struggling to edge past Burton on penalties in the Capital One Cup in midweek after suffering a 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal last weekend.

But Northern Ireland international Hughes is keen to focus on their impressive display at the Stadium of Light when they return to the North East.

“We went up there a couple of weeks ago to play Sunderland and got a good result,” he said.

“This weekend will be very much similar to that game as they’ll have a big crowd behind them, the team will be looking to get off to a good start and we’re going to have to do something similar to what we did at Sunderland.

“We’ll have to be as strong in defence as we were at Sunderland, but maybe try and use the ball a little bit better.

“Sunderland wasn’t our best performance football-wise, but in terms of being solid and defensively strong and everyone working really, really hard it was as good as we’ve had in a long time, so we need another performance like that.

“We can expect a tough game on Saturday, we know they’re going to come out and really push hard to get off to a good start.”

Hughes played over 200 times for Newcastle at the start of his career and he highlighted the pressure their players will be under from their expectant fans.

“At a club like Newcastle there’s always something to talk about,” added Hughes.

“It’s very much that when things are going well, the expectation’s really heightened, almost to the point where it’s over the top.

“Then if things aren’t going well it’s all doom and gloom and it’s the end of the world. It just comes with being at Newcastle because it always has been very fanatical.

“I think as a player you always try and stay somewhere in the middle. You just get your head down and work hard, and look to get through it.

“Equally, when things are going well, you don’t get carried away because you know that round the corner anything can happen.”