Cottagers boss confident on transfers

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Mark Hughes is confident he will have enough time before the transfer window closes to bring in the players he wants to Fulham.

While nearly all his Barclays Premier League rivals have had the whole summer to reinforce their squads for the coming season, Hughes will have less than two weeks to assess where he needs to strengthen before the Barclays Premier League kicks off, and less than two weeks after that before the window slams shut.

"Ideally, we would've liked to have been in place before the pre-season schedule was undertaken," said Hughes, who plans to establish Fulham as a permanent fixture in the Barclays Premier League top 10.

"But that wasn't possible. We've got two weeks before the start of the season and we've still got another two weeks after that of the window to negotiate as well, so there's still plenty of time."

Hughes' priority is signing a striker after none of Fulham's players managed double figures in terms of goals last season.

But he has all but ruled out raiding City for Craig Bellamy - and possibly Roque Santa Cruz - admitting the former in particular would be out of his new club's price range. Bellamy would need to be convinced to take a huge pay cut to move to Fulham.

Hughes revealed on Tuesday he himself needed to be talked into taking charge at Craven Cottage, despite the club enjoying the two most successful seasons in their history under his predecessor Roy Hodgson.

"The last two years, I thought maybe they'd been punching above their weight and maybe that's a consequence of the good work that had gone on beforehand," Hughes said.

"The Premier League is a very expensive league and you do need resources; you need funds to keep energising the team to enable it to continue.

"If you don't add quality to a club and a group of players then you will stand still and people will overtake you. Maybe that was the reassurance that I needed when I had the discussions with Alistair (Mackintosh, chief executive)."

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

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