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Hangeland hails defensive display

Brede Hangeland chose to take the positives from Fulham’s draw at Norwich this afternoon – highlighting an improved defensive display as a reason to be cheerful.

The Fulham captain braved an Achilles injury to line up at the heart of the Fulham defence despite being substituted at half time during the defeat by Manchester United last weekend and was delighted that Martin Jol’s side managed to withstand a late onslaught from the Canaries to record their first clean sheet since November.

I’m very pleased we didn’t concede a goal – it’s been too long since we kept a clean sheet so that’s good. We obviously would’ve liked to win this game and I thought, looking back on it, we should have done a little bit better with all our possession and created some more pieces, but I suppose we’re quite happy to take a point home.

Like his manager, Hangeland was disappointed that Fulham weren’t able to convert their dominance of possession into a few more clear cut chances.

I thought we played well up to a certain point. We didn’t really ask too many questions of their goalkeeper so that’s something to work on. We looked solid as a team and we didn’t concede any goals so that’s a positive.

We’ll take any points we can get. A lot of teams around us lost today so we’ve gone one more point ahead of a few of the teams towards the bottom of the table.

The Norwegian international is now looking forward to recuperating over the course of a two-week break before Fulham return to action with a tough test against Stoke City at Craven Cottage on February 23. Hangeland hopes to have fully recovered from the Achilles injury that put his participation at Carrow Road in doubt.

I’ll take a break as I’ve been struggling with an injury for the past few days so I’ll need a few days to recover probably, so hopefully these two weeks now will do us a lot of good and we’ll be firing on all cylinders in two weeks time. There’s some injuries you can play with if you are willing to take a little bit of pain and that was the case today.

Jol fretting over Hangeland injury

Martin Jol fears Fulham could be without captain Brede Hangeland for as long as a fortnight after the defender sustained an Achilles injury in the narrow defeat by Manchester United tonight.

The Norwegian centre back had to replaced by Aaron Hughes at half-time during Fulham’s 1-0 defeat to the league leaders and, although Jol is hoping otherwise, he told the post-match press conference that the 31 year-old might miss two weeks of action.

I’m hoping it is not a long one – he picked up an Achilles problem. That’s the first time I’ve had to substitute him all season and hopefully it’s not too serious, but I fear we might have to do without Brede for a couple of weeks.

Hangeland hopes to build on West Brom win

Fulham’s win at West Brom has brought the belief back into the squad, according to club captain Brede Hangeland.

Martin Jol’s men recorded only their second win in thirteen matches at the Hawthorns on New Year’s Day but the Norwegian defender revealed there was no sense of panic down at Motspur Park as the players were aware of the quality in the squad. Hangeland now hopes his side can capitalise on the momentum that vital victory brought, starting with the FA Cup tie against Blackpool at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

It has been a frustrating time with a poor run of results, so we were really pleased with ourselves to go to West Brom and get all three points. The game proved to ourselves and to everyone else that we can get results against most teams.

We’ve always known the quality is there, it was just a matter of producing it. The West Brom win was a step in the right direction.

Hangeland hails Fulham’s spirit

Brede Hangeland felt Fulham showed spirit and quality in equal measure as they overcame an early setback as well as the contentious award of a late penalty to take a point from an action-packed London derby with Arsenal.

Martin Jol’s side were punished for some lax defending as Oliver Giroud and Lukas Podolski put the Gunners two goals ahead with barely half of the game gone, but Hangeland felt Fulham were unfortunate to be facing such a deficit so early.

We started well but somehow found ourselves two goals behind. I still can’t believe that because we played ever so well in the first half. We deserved to come back, showed a lot of character and quality to get in the lead. At 3-3, it looks like a good result and then to concede that penalty in the last second was a big blow. Luckily, we have a really good keeper and he saved the day for us.

I think they had two shots on goal and two goals. It was just one of those things – you just have to get on with it. To be fair, I thought we kept playing and kept doing the things we agreed to do and scored two terrific goals to come back and a really good goal from Berba in the second half. I think the team showed the character and the quality and the type of performance we were able to produce.

The Fulham captain also queried Dowd’s decision to point to the spot after Andrei Arshavin’s cross struck Sascha Riether on the hand in the last minute of stoppage time. The German full back was barely two yards away from the Arsenal substitute and couldn’t move his hand away from the path of the Russian’s cross. Dowd indicated that he felt Riether had moved his arm towards the ball to block it – a judgement that mystified Hangeland.

I think it’s weird that that’s a penalty. Obviously, Sascha would never handball that on purpose. He would rather let the cross come in. I just can’t believe that, but luckily what I think is justice prevailed.

Hangeland heaps praise on Fulham’s new forwards

Brede Hangeland hailed Fulham’s resolve after the Whites got back to winning ways this afternoon with a 3-0 win over West Brom.

The Fulham captain praised the performance of Dimitar Berbatov, who scored twice on his first appearance at Craven Cottage, but also lauded an energetic display from Hugo Rodallega who himself was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

It was a very good overall performance on Saturday and I was really pleased for Dimitar to score two goals on his home debut. Obviously we’re really happy for him but we all knew his quality. We’ve played against him in the past and seen him do incredible stuff for many years now. It’s great to see him here at Fulham.

I thought we dominated the game. Obviously when they had a man sent off it made it easier for us, but I thought we were good value for the three points. We knew we had Hugo and Dimitar in attack and we wanted to try and dominate the game and make life hard for West Brom, as we always should against any team at home.

There have been a lot of changes and there are a lot of new faces but we managed to perform really well as team and play some nice football against West Brom.  We’re really happy with how things went. In the two home games we’ve been brilliant and we’ve got to try and do that away from home now.  I think we’ve proved to everyone that we can play really good football and do well so we’ll try and carry that on next weekend against Wigan.