Fulham could soon have Greece striker Costas Mitroglou back to assist in its Premier League relegation fight, manager Felix Magath said on Friday.
Mitroglou has featured just twice for the Londoners since joining from Olympiakos Piraeus for an undisclosed fee, which media reports put at 12 million pounds ($19.97 million), on transfer deadline day on January 31.
The player known in Greece as ‘Mitrogoal’ and ‘Pistolero’ (The Gunslinger), has been battling a knee complaint although Magath has said the striker has struggled to adapt to the intensity of English soccer.
“He is not happy about that (injury) but it is a normal thing for a soccer player,» German Magath told reporters on Friday. «In your career you sometimes have injury and so we are unlucky to have it now, but so it is.
“I think he will be back next week. We will see if he can join us in the training sessions, we will see how it works. If there is a risk, we would wait one or two days more, but if there is no risk, he can play.”
Mitroglou became the first Greek to bag a Champions League hat-trick with a treble at Anderlecht in October.
Fulham, bottom of the league on 24 points, hosts high-flying Everton on Sunday and Magath said Roberto Martinez’s side represented the most difficult of its remaining home games. Fulham also hosts Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace.
“You have seen from the last result (3-0 win) from Everton against Newcastle United; it shows that Everton is in good shape so it will be the most difficult game for us on Sunday at Craven Cottage,» he told the club’s website (www.fulhamfc.com).
“It has a good team and the manager has done very, very well because to take over a club after a manager (David Moyes) who was for several years there, it is not easy. Normally you always have problems if you have taken such a club, so I think he has done a very good job.”
Despite Fulham’s predicament, Magath said he was «convinced» Fulham would stay up.
“I’m only looking for the next game, now it’s Everton, and we have to win.
“We have to win because we are a few points adrift so we need more points than the other teams at the bottom. I’m convinced we will stay in the league.”