Brede Hangeland admits the pressure is on to beat Newcastle and Tottenham in the next two home games because of Fulham's wretched away form.

The Whites were beaten for the fourth time in five away games on Saturday when Louis Saha's 87th minute header gave Everton a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

In three of those games, a late goal has accounted for the loss of a point and it was even the same story at Burnley in the Carling Cup.

A frustrated Hangeland knows those facts make the next two weeks more crucial than they should be.

"I agree that we need something from these next two home games because we have Liverpool and Villa away after that, which will be difficult games," the Norwegian told the Gazette.

"We'd like to see ourselves a bit further up the table and our home form has been OK so hopefully we will collect a few points in the next two.

"It's definitely not good enough, one point from five games, but if we can improve our away form and keep our home form, we will be OK."

Hangeland continued: "Losing so many points to late goals away from home has been the biggest disappointment so far this season.

"Everton's a difficult place to go to and we could have won it and should have got a draw at least. To lose like that in the last couple of minutes is really the worst way to lose.

"It was a bit cruel. "The way we play in those final 10 minutes is something we've discussed but I'm not sure why it's happened to us several times now.

"It's definitely something we have to look at but I felt towards the end of the game on Saturday, we were at our most comfortable.

"I felt we were controlling the game and they didn't look like they were going to score, but they produced a good goal out of nothing.

"The good thing is we performed quite well and if we keep that up, I'm sure our luck will turn."

If there is consolation to be had for Hangeland, it is that he and Aaron Hughes are at least proving a reliable pairing in central defence. Boss Roy Hodgson seems to have faith in them and the starting XI as a whole, which has not changed much in recent weeks.

"At the moment, we're obviously not scoring enough goals even though we are creating chances, but as a team we're defending quite well and we haven't let in that many," Hangeland said.

"I think I have a good understanding with Aaron Hughes. We've had some time to work together since I joined last January and we do a lot of work on our defending on the training ground.

"We talk about what we are trying to do almost every day and I think we work well together.

"Aaron is a good all-round defender. He's quick and he's strong and he's a thinker, he doesn't just play. We know where each other is on the pitch and that's always a good thing."

Newcastle arrive this weekend buoyed by back-to-back wins which have lifted them from the foot of the Premier League table and it may not be the best time to face them.

But Hangeland is certain that if the Whites perform as they have done this season in most of their home games, they can prevail.

"There are no impossible games for us this season and no easy games and this is another of those where we can win if we do well and can definitely get beaten if we don't get it right," he said.

"Newcastle haven't started the season that well but every team you play, you guarantee they have a few top-class players and it's the same again this week.

"Obafemi Martins is a dangerous player. I like his celebrations after scoring. But I saw it on TV and hopefully won't have to see it live."

Match Summary EVERTON (0) 1 FULHAM (0) 0 Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies (Nevland 89), Murphy, Bullard (Baird 83), Gera (Dempsey 88); Johnson, Zamora. Subs not used: Zuberbühler, Gray, Stoor, Andreasen. Att: 31,278 GOALS: Saha (87)

MoM: Leon Osman (Everton)

Next Up


Craven Cottage Sunday 4pm Premier League

Manager: Joe Kinnear Position last season: 12th Form Guide: Kinnear gained his first win since taking over as interim boss when the Magpies beat West Brom 2-1 at home last week. They still found themselves at the foot of the Premier League table going into Monday night's home game against Aston Villa, but a 2-0 win lifted them out of the drop-zone altogether and they should arrive at the Cottage in confident mood. That said, the Geordies are without an away win so far, having drawn at Man United (1-1) and Everton (2-2) and lost to Arsenal (0-3),West Ham (1-3) and Sunderland (1-2). Players to look out for: Troublemagnet Joey Barton - who scored a last-minute winner from the spot when the teams met last season - will be under the microscope as he tries to rehabilitate following a prison term. Midweek goal hero Obafemi Martins will be one to watch for all the right reasons.

Most recent meetings: Newcastle Utd 2-0 Fulham (22 Mar 2008); Fulham 0-1 Newcastle Utd (15 Dec 2007) - Prem League. Head-to-head record: FFC Wins: 23 NU Wins: 24 Draws: 12

Match Facts: Newcastle's double last season avenged a double for the Whites the year before that. Fulham have won four and lost three of the seven Premier League encounters with Newcastle at Craven Cottage.

Forecast: The Whites have a decent home record this season and will have high hopes of claiming another vital three points given United's modest away form.

Gazette forecast success rate: 6 correct out of 12 (50%).