Premier League: Fulham boss Felix Magath ready to put faith in young stars
Fulham manager Felix Magath is prepared to field his young stars, despite their battle against relegation.
Last Updated: 11/04/14 1:45pm
Magath's men are 18th in the table, five points behind Norwich, and the two clubs meet on Saturday in a vital match for both teams in their battle to avoid the drop.
Fulham pulled off a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa last week to keep them in the survival chase. Whilst the senior men have struggled this season, the youth team has been in superb form and booked a place in the FA Youth Cup final.
Magath, Fulham's third manager this season following the sackings of Dutch duo Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen, says he will have no hesitation in fielding the likes of Cauley Woodrow, Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts if he believes they will do a better job than the established pros.
"I always take care of the youth, of young players," he said.
"For me it's normal to use young players. I will not show them but I'm convinced they realise that I'm not afraid to take young players so I hope they will see it and it helps them to improve.
"I was there [at the semi-final victory]. I crossed my fingers and I was very glad of the performance of the youth team. We have a London final (against Arsenal or Chelsea) so we hope the champions will be Fulham."
His counterpart on Saturday, Neil Adams, led Norwich to the FA Youth Cup trophy last season.
Fulham defender John Heitinga is confident the west Londoners can maintain their place in the Premier League.
"You have to believe we can still do it, I believe we can," he said.
"The only thing that matters right now is the club's survival - we just need to find the way. This is the first time I've been involved in a relegation battle, but you have to deal with the same pressures as when you are challenging for trophies.
"Of course, the trophy for us will be staying up in the Premier League. It's a real challenge but it's up to us to play as well as we can between now and the end of the season."