Hugo Rodallega eyes a place in the top ten for Fulham

Rodallega scored Fulham's third goal in their win over West Ham on Wednesday. Photo: PA

Hugo Rodallega believes the only way is up for Fulham after last night's London derby defeat of West Ham.

The Cottagers have struggled of late but got off to a fine start against the Hammers, with Dimitar Berbatov nodding the hosts in front after 10 minutes.

Kevin Nolan levelled for the Hammers after shortly into the second half, but Rodallega bundled home to put Fulham back ahead.

Joey O'Brien's stoppage-time own goal ensured a 3-1 victory, which the Colombian striker believes bodes well for his side.

"It's important for us," Rodallega told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com.

"West Ham were also struggling a bit going into the game. They are a good team and they were in front of us.

"Now West Ham have gone further down the table and Fulham have gone up.

"The objective is to get in the top 10 so it was a vital win for us. We are now looking forward rather than behind."

Next up for the Cottagers is the unenviable task of overcoming Manchester United on Saturday, just a week after Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat them 4-1 in the FA Cup.

"It's a big game and we need to win," Rodallega said. "It's different to the cup game. It's the Premier League and we have a different objective.

"We want to continue playing like we did against West Ham and make it hard for United."

It is a game in which Urby Emanuelson could make his Fulham debut.

The 26-year-old Holland international today joined the Cottagers on loan from AC Milan until the end of the season.

"It is not easy to get players from AC Milan on a permanent basis," manager Martin Jol said.

"I coached him at Ajax. He is a skilful player, very agile. He is very mobile, quick.

"He can play left midfield, wide, play number 10 so I feel we need fresh legs."

West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald was clearly angered by some of the refereeing decisions last night, but was buoyed by the return of Andy Carroll.

The England international has been out since November 28 with a knee injury, but came on 14 minutes from time at Craven Cottage.

"It is great to have him back," McDonald said. "We have been working hard with him behind the scenes to try and get him fit.

"He is back now, which is great. We didn't want to take the risk of starting him because he has only had a couple of days training.

"It was a little bit of a cameo performance. He will have a couple days of training now and he will come into contention against Swansea on Saturday.

"It is good to have players of that calibre to come back and it gives fantastic competition for places now because almost everybody is fit."