Successive Fulham managers have spoken of the need to introduce young faces into the squad, but Aaron Hughes believes the experience within the side will be vital as they try and move clear of the relegation zone during the second half of the season.

Hughes and his team-mates are part of the oldest squad in the top flight and former manager Martin Jol’s departure seemed inevitable once the spark went out of an ageing side. But the Northern Ireland international reckons the knowledge and know-how gained by some of the club’s old campaigners could be crucial as they face up to the prospect of a tough relegation battle.

Drawing on the example of skipper Scott Parker, who capped a fine individual display with the winning goal at Norwich on Boxing Day, Hughes feels that the maturity of the squad that new head coach Rene Meulensteen has to pick from has already proved invaluable.

There is a lot of experience in the side and that helps – especially when there are changes to be made. In the next three or four games it is not necessarily going to be the same players who get game time.

But everyone knows their role and throughout the season you are going to have to make those adjustments. We have got depth and experience as well as energy to come on if needed.

We are very aware of the situation we are in and we don’t expect to get out of it in the next couple of weeks. But if we go to Hull and put in a performance like at Norwich then I’m confident we’ll get something.