Magath: Hard work is my only agenda

Hardline Fulham boss Felix Magath is not interested in being liked by his players as he seeks to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.

Fulham's Felix Magath and Lewis Holtby

The Cottagers head to title-chasing Manchester City four points adrift of safety with eight games left to extend their 13-year stay in the top flight by another season.

Magath, who replaced Rene Meulensteen last month, is known as a demanding taskmaster and the German has outlined his expectations of his players.

"I'm here to work. Playing football is a job and I try to do my job as well as I can," Magath said.

"I think I know what I'm doing and I'm ready to work with everyone. I have no private interests or relationships here in England.

"I tell the players that I want success and if they want success they must be right with me.

"We are here to work and if we work well and win, we are all happy. If my team loses, I can't be happy."

Fulham's survival bid received a shot in the arm with Saturday's 1-0 victory over Newcastle, where the clean sheet pleased Magath as much as Ashkan Dejagah's winner.

Magath knows Manchester City will pose far greater problems than the Magpies, but is backing his team - which has the league's leakiest defence by 13 goals - to keep them at bay.

"We've improved in defence and we showed against Newcastle that it's not as easy as before to score against us," he said.

"Man City have tremendous attacking players, but I believe we can stop them scoring.

"We have improved in defence and we will show that on Saturday.

"It was important to get a clean sheet against Newcastle. The result gives the players the belief they can have a clean sheet.

"But I'm not just thinking about defending, I'm thinking about the initiative of going forward.

"If we keep them far away from our goal, then nothing can happen. It's taken time for the players to get used to my philosophy."

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