LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - New Fulham coach Felix Magath will be without winger Damien Duff, who may have played his last match for the club, when his side faces Cardiff City in a must-win Premier League relegation scrap on Saturday.
Fulham, who are bottom of the standings on 21 points with 10 matches remaining, face a Cardiff side who are just one point and one place above them and were thumped 4-0 at home by Hull City in their last home match.
They have also failed to score in four of their last six home matches and have not scored in any of their last four league games, home or away.
Magath, who replaced Rene Meulensteen on Feb. 14 to become Fulham’s third coach of this season, believes the London club can stay up but admits to facing the toughest challenge of his managerial career.
Fulham have not won in the league since New Years Day and are four points away from safety.
”It’s the most difficult because now we are behind the other teams.
“We have developed in the last 14 days and the team is growing together and that is what makes me sure we can avoid relegation.”
Magath’s first two matches at Fulham helm have ended in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion and last week’s 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea, although Fulham looked an improved side for the first hour.
”The best confidence you can get is if you win,“ he said. ”We need a win for our confidence. If I look at the schedules, I know we have quite a good schedule in the last 10 games.
“Everybody has to put in a shift and push the team to give their best.”
However Duff, who has a knee injury is out of the side and may have played his last match for the club.
The 35-year-old former Ireland winger who has been at Fulham since 2009, has made 18 appearances this season but not played since the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United last month.
Duff is out of contract at Craven Cottage at the end of the season and it is unclear whether he will sign a new contract. (Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by John O‘Brien)