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Cottagers looking for first away win of the season

Fulham manager Mark Hughes has backed centre-half Brede Hangeland to deal with the threat posed by Andy Carroll when his side visit Newcastle United this Saturday.

Carroll has been in sensational form this season and his seven goals in 12 games look likely to earn the striker his first international call-up for England's friendly with France next Wednesday.

But Hughes has revealed that Hangeland, who did well to keep Didier Drogba quiet in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Wednesday, is ultra-competitive, and the Welshman believes his defender will come out on top in the battle with Carroll.

"He is very disappointed when he loses games, as we all are, even if he loses challenges or five-a-sides on training fields," Hughes told reporters.

"There is the same intensity to his work. He wants to work hard for the team and that inner drive is what you want to see in players.

"When the ball is played into our box, we want the likes of Brede to challenge and show his strength in the air as well."

Hughes knows that it will take more than a good performance from Hangeland if his Fulham side are to leave St James' Park with any points - and the Cottagers boss has stated his intention to cut off the supply to the prolific striker.

He added: "Obviously, we are aware of the areas that Andy Carroll likes to attack, so hopefully we can actually stop the source to him.

"I think that's probably the best plan of action."

Fulham have only won two Premier League games this season and have not won away from Craven Cottage since the opening game of last season - a record which Hughes is keen to alter as soon as possible.

He continued: "It is not something that sits comfortably with any of us. Certain areas of our play when we play away need to improve to give us a chance to win.

"It is something that possibly is there before we go out on the field so we need to get those thoughts out of our minds."

Newcastle's home form has been poor this season and Hughes is buoyed by news that Fulham have won three of their last five games at St James' Park.

He concluded: "That gives us some encouragement because teams have gone there and played well and got positive results and that is what we need to do."

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