The west Londoners enjoyed a surprisingly good start to the campaign considering the likes of Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy left for pastures new in the summer.
That initial flourish soon wore off, though, and only a recent upturn in fortunes has prevented Martin Jol's side from being sucked into the relegation battle.
The 3-2 defeat of QPR means the Cottagers are now unbeaten in five matches and puts them nine points clear of the drop zone, much to Hangeland's relief.
"Hopefully now we can sleep well at night, knowing we will be in the league next year and look up a little bit," the Fulham captain said.
"It is so tight and if it hadn't been for this really good run recently we could have been in trouble, but luckily we seemed to turn the corner after the new year."