Fulham winger Ashkan Dejagah believes the Whites will need to display their fighting qualities if they’re to come away from Saturday’s fixture at Stoke City with a favourable result.
The Potters make no secret of their hustle-and-bustle style of football and the encounter could be something of an eye-opener for Dejagah, who joined Fulham on the final day of the August transfer window.
“The players tell me that Stoke are very direct and it’s not easy to play at their ground,” Dejagah told the official website. “They have some big players and they like to play long balls. We must fight in this game – it’s not a match to play football. If we fight for each other we can win this game.”
Sidelined through injury upon first signing, Dejagah impressed in three substitute appearances for the Club, before being handed his first start in the 3-3 draw at Arsenal.
“It was a big game for me,” he said. “It was my first match for Fulham from the beginning and it was against Arsenal at an amazing stadium. It was a good game; it ended 3-3 so we were very happy to score three goals at Arsenal. I was very happy that the Manager gave me the chance to start the game. It showed he believes in me.
“I feel very good after my injury. The physios have been great and I’m very happy here. It’s good to now be involved with the First Team. Every player has been great with me and the games have also been good apart from the last one. We were disappointed to lose against Sunderland but now we must look to the next game against Stoke and hope we can play better.”
Despite a strong performance at the home of the Gunners, Dejagah was back on the bench for Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Sunderland, with Martin Jol preferring to use Damien Duff on the right flank.
Dejagah, however, has no qualms with Jol’s decision, stating: “After the Arsenal game, I had a match with my national team Iran and I had two long flights. Damien Duff is a big player for Fulham so it was no problem.”
But, with Bryan Ruiz and Alexander Kačaniklić currently sidelined with injury and Kieran Richardson not back in training until next week, there could be an opening on the left for Dejagah, Duff or even Hugo Rodallega at the Britannia Stadium.
It’s a position 26-year-old Dejagah is not unfamiliar with, having featured there during his time at VfL Wolfsburg.