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Nov 21, 2013

Taarabt pleased with Fulham setup

Adel Taarabt did not know much about Rene Meulensteen before his appointment at Fulham, but is loving life under the "unbelievable" new head coach.

Adel Taarabt put Fulham in front at Burton Albion.
Taarabt is enjoying his time at Fulham.

After a frustrating start to the season in west London, the powers that be last week significantly shook-up the managerial structure at Craven Cottage.

With manager Martin Jol's position coming under increasing scrutiny, Meulensteen was brought in to work alongside his fellow Dutchman as head coach.

It is Meulensteen's second job since leaving Manchester United's coaching team following Sir Alex Ferguson's departure after a brief spell at Anzhi Makhachkala, and he has quickly made an impact on the players at Motspur Park.

"I'd heard about him but I didn't know him as a person or a coach," attacking midfielder Taarabt told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com. "I've worked with him now for five or six days and he's unbelievable. The sessions he puts on are amazing.

"He understands the Premier League and how important it is to keep possession of the ball. The players are so happy with the sessions. They're hard work, though; everyone comes off the training pitch saying 'I'm dead, I need to sleep!'

"Everything is intensity, intensity, intensity and working on in-game situations. It's what we needed and I think he'll bring a lot to Fulham."

That boost may well prove a timely shot in the arm for the Whites as they look to avoid a fifth successive defeat in all competitions this weekend. Jol's side languish in the relegation zone as a result of that poor form, but know victory against Swansea would change the complexion of things.

"We need to prevent [their possession-based game]," Taarabt said. "We want to have control of the ball and dominate games, so we need to press them. It's been too easy for other teams at times against us. We need to take responsibility now and control games, especially at home.

"If Swansea can do it, why can't we do it? That's what we're working on with Rene -- to try and control games, to not give the ball away cheaply and defend as a team."

As well as looking for a collective improvement, Taarabt is hoping things take a turn for the better on a personal level.

The Morocco international has endured a frustrating time since joining Fulham on a season-long loan from near neighbours QPR, not starting a league match since August.

"It's been a little bit frustrating because I came here with a big ambition to do well," Taarabt said. "I started off okay but then I picked up an injury that made it very difficult for me to get back in the team.

"Now I'm fighting hard to get back in the starting XI and this international break has been very good for me. We had a friendly game against Crystal Palace where I played 85 minutes and for fitness that was very good.

"Now I hope to get picked to play against Swansea City on Saturday. I need to produce in training and show the manager that I'm ready to go and fight for him. That's what I try to do every day. I hope to be involved from the start on Saturday. If I don't start, I hope to come on and make an impact for the team."

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