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West Ham United Vs Fulham, Sat 2 Oct 2010

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Fulham boss Mark Hughes has given his side the thumbs up as he prepares for his seventh Barclays Premier League game in charge.

The Cottagers travel to West Ham as one of only two teams, along with Manchester United, still unbeaten.

Fulham would be much higher than seventh in the table had they not drawn five out of their six games so far, while it is more than a year since their last away league win.

Hughes, though, insists he could not have asked for more when he took over from Roy Hodgson in July.

He told fulhamfc.com: "I'm very pleased with the start that we have made - we have to be because this is a very competitive league. We go to West Ham unbeaten, and we can take a lot from that.

"I think Manchester United are the only other team not to lose a game so far - so we're in very good company in that respect. It's very satisfying.

"I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far and this is a great group of players that are working extremely hard for one another. They understand what myself and the coaches want and we're seeing that when they're out on the field.

"As a result, it has been a decent start, but we want and need to be consistent throughout the whole season and I can see no reason why we can't continue in the same vein.

"We have targets and objectives that we want to hit, and at this moment in time we are on track."

Hughes remains short of attacking options, with Moussa Dembele (ankle), Bobby Zamora (broken leg) and Andrew Johnson (knee) all out.

But there was better news of the latter this week when he took part in a behind-closed-doors friendly more than eight months after his last competitive appearance.

Meanwhile, Hughes will be able to call on goalkeeper David Stockdale, who was preferred to Mark Schwarzer for the first four games but then picked up an ankle injury just as he was on the verge of an England call-up.

Stockdale said: "I'm a proud Englishman and it was heartbreaking to miss out on that. Now I've got to stay patient, keep working hard and wait for my opportunity at Fulham to come again."

Meanwhile, West Ham manager Avram Grant has urged Fabio Capello to recall Robert Green for England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

Green's hopes of being Capello's number one throughout the World Cup were dashed in England's opener against the United States, where his bungled attempt to save Clint Dempsey's shot cost the team victory.

A series of shaky performances for West Ham, and a hip injury, have meant that the former Norwich goalkeeper has not played for his country since.

Last week's excellent performance against Tottenham, which was followed by a defiant gesture towards his critics in the press box, may well have put him back in Capello's thoughts though as the Italian looks to make it three qualifying wins from three at Wembley a week on Tuesday.

Green's display at Upton Park last weekend has left Grant with no doubt the 30-year-old deserves to be given a recall when Capello names his squad on Monday afternoon.

"He is one of the best goalkeepers in the country," Grant said.

"Nothing has changed. He was good last year, he is good this year.

"This week in training he was very good but he is one of the best in England so he needs to be in the England squad in my opinion."

Kieron Dyer could miss the clash through illness. The midfielder has been suffering with diarrhoea all week after coming off during last week's win over Tottenham.

Valon Behrami (knee) and Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh) are out while Grant will give late fitness tests to Winston Reid, Jonathan Spector and Herita Ilunga (all leg).

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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