Meulensteen: We're in this together
9:24am Tuesday 4th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen says his players and staff are "all in this together" as the club look to stay in the Barclays Premier League.
The Cottagers slipped to the bottom of the table after they were beaten 3-0 at home by Southampton on Saturday, but have the chance to record a much-needed win against Sky Bet League One outfit Sheffield United in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday night.
Meulensteen feels he has "100 per cent" support from owner Shahid Khan and is not about to "lose any sleep" over reports recently appointed technical director Alan Curbishley was being lined up to replace him should results continue to nosedive.
"I brought Alan into this club as part of my squad. He's as much responsible as myself, Ray Wilkins, John Hill and Mike Priest, we are all in this together," said Meulensteen, himself originally drafted in at Craven Cottage to work alongside former boss Martin Jol.
"I wanted Alan here for these scenarios. He is utterly 100 per cent supportive of me, Ray and all the others.
"We keep making sure we move forward in the right way and get the right plan together for the next couple of months."
Meulensteen feels Khan has shown his commitment by backing the manager with some big spending in January, although Fulham will not be able to use £11million deadline day signing Kostas Mitroglou, Johnny Heitinga or Lewis Holtby in the cup tie against the Blades.
"It was a huge statement of intent to back us with the transfer money," the Dutchman said.
"I stay in regular contact with him and all I can do is live up to his expectations - and that is what I intend to do."
Meulensteen insisted he did not believe the axe was set to be wielded for a second time this season.
"He doesn't do anything knee-jerk, he thinks about things and there's a rationale to everything," the Fulham manager added.
"His whole business is built on getting the right people in, and trusting them to do the right things."
Meulensteen was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's coaching staff at Manchester United which helped deliver three Premier League titles as well as the 2008 Champions League crown.
The Dutchman, who took charge at Fulham following Jol's departure in December, remains in regular contact with Ferguson and intends to use some of those pointers from his former boss in the battles ahead over the run-in.
"I have spoken to him like I do, on and off. Sometimes he rings me and sometimes I ring him. He is always a phone call away," said Meulensteen.
"I have always felt that whenever we stared into adversity or disappointment, I have always found him remarkably strong in those moments.
"You could never spot any doubt in his words or behaviour.
"That always transferred back to the players. I want to do exactly the same."
Meulensteen continued: "At the very top you find the highest quality, and quality players, you don't have to motivate them for a start.
"Here it's more you need to be much more constructive, more repetitive.
"Sometimes I have to say, 'hold on, Rene, you're not in the same environment'.
"You have to look at the squad and make sure they feel comfortable with what they are doing. That is how you come to a solution which will help us."