Spirit of Fergie can save us! Meulensteen draws on old boss' influence to drag Fulham out of the drop zone

By Nick Purewal, Press Association

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Rene Meulensteen hopes to transfer Sir Alex Ferguson's thirst for a challenge into his fight to keep Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.

Meulensteen has admitted he will draw heavily on Manchester United great Ferguson's influence to drag the Cottagers away from the drop zone.

Fulham's new Dutch boss was Ferguson's chief lieutenant at Old Trafford, operating as first team coach from 2007 until David Moyes' arrival in the summer.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch Meulensteen speak of Fulham's challenge

Learned from the best: Rene Meulensteen hopes to draw on Alex Ferguson's influence

Learned from the best: Rene Meulensteen hopes to draw on Alex Ferguson's influence

Rene Meulensteen the Fulham manager at full time
Alex Ferguson shouts instructions from the touchline

Cottage industry: Meulensteen (left) claims Ferguson's courage for a challenge was his greatest lesson

And Meulensteen said of all the lessons his former boss imparted in those six years, the decorated Scot prized guts above all else.

Fulham host Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on Sunday, looking to arrest their six-game league losing streak and record a first victory for their new manager.

Meulensteen said: 'I've been fortunate to sit alongside one of the most successful managers in Sir Alex Ferguson.

Bringing up the rear: Fulham lie in 18th place in the table after losing 10 of 14 games this season

Bringing up the rear: Fulham lie in 18th place in the table after losing 10 of 14 games this season

'He taught me a lot but the one thing that stood by me, in life, in football: you're faced constantly by challenges.

'You want challenges, and sometimes they are in adversity.

'The most important thing is to accept the challenge, embrace the challenge, and enjoy taking that challenge on.

'And that is what we're prepared to do.

Double Dutch: Meulensteen replaced his countryman Martin Jol (left) at Craven Cottage

Double Dutch: Meulensteen replaced his countryman Martin Jol (left) at Craven Cottage

'I will definitely draw into the experiences that I've had of Sir Alex Ferguson.

'I've spent a long time working with top, top players: hard work and the good work that will go in will eventually manifest itself on the pitch.'

Meulensteen will tell his Fulham charges to be wary of Villa's own experiences of battling a rough Premier League ride.

The Fulham manager praised Villa counterpart Paul Lambert for fighting early-tenure fires through placing his faith in youth.

Kid's play: Meulensteen has praised Villa boss Paul Lambert for keeping faith in youth

Kid's play: Meulensteen has praised Villa boss Paul Lambert for keeping faith in youth

Meulensteen expects another exacting test against the Villa Park outfit, but said if his side equal the commitment showed in Wednesday's 2-1 Spurs defeat they will always have a chance of victory.

He said: 'Villa is a good team.

'Paul Lambert was in a similar situation last year, he chose to really put out an energetic young team, he's gone through that and we have to deal with that.

'Every club and every manager is different, but I think we can all agree that every positive result or performance always starts with hard work, commitment and discipline, and that's what we got on Wednesday against Spurs.'

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Coaching methods based on pure arrogance then. No wonder Berb wants off. He hated that big headed bunch at the theatre of comedy.

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What does he meant by the word "us"? I thought he coaches Fulham now? I can just see him now walking into the home dressing room at Old Trafford on his first date their with Fulham. Lol

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They need the spirit more at old Trafford

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It shouldn't be too hard to find Fergusons spirits, there's a reason his face is so red you know.

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Come on villa, shove it up em!

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How long before he gets the sack this time. Amazes me why all the papers and supporters keep claiming he is a top coach . He has been sacked as manager from the only 2 clubs he has managed because he was clueless and if he was as good as the pro united people make out why the hell has he not been snapped up by a top team .

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How long before he gets the sack this time.

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i've already said this...keep fulham up,and you'll be United's manager next season.

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Yeah that's the idea

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Biggest mistake to sack him at United!

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