Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)  (Read 6414 times)

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2010, 08:20:06 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6762
Okaka sparks Fulham fightback
by Dan on April 4, 2010

After three straight league defeats and with minds turning towards the Europa League, the World Cup and the prospect of a summer break, Fulham needed a victory and fast. It would prove a morale-booster ahead of that testing trip to Wolfsburg and halt a worrying slide down the table as the season draws to a close. Wigan needed the points, but for different reasons, as Roberto Martinez’s side are still in a relegation scrap.

On a surprisingly sunny afternoon at Craven Cottage, both sides would have taken a gritty victory. At half-time, it looked like Wigan’s game for the taking as the Latics slowly began to push a jaded home side back and took the lead through a Jason Scotland shot that Mark Schwarzer will feel he should have kept out. Fulham kept plugging away and were much improved in the second period. Substitute Stefano Okaka flicked home his first goal for the Whites just after the break and a powerful Brede Hangeland header put Fulham in front. And that’s the way it stayed, despite some late Wigan pressure prompted by the introduction of the lively Victor Moses.

Roy Hodgson avoided the temptation to rotate his squad too vigorously, only opting to rest Bobby Zamora from the side that downed the German champions in Thursday’s first leg. David Elm got a start up front but the Swede was easily nullified by the Wigan defence and Fulham carried a much greater threat when Okaka replaced him for the second period. Hodgson wouldn’t have been too impressed by the way Fulham faded after a lively opening, when Chris Kirkland was forced into a smart double save. Zoltan Gera’s diving header drew a good block but Elm should have done better with the follow-up.

The home fans weren’t too happy with refereeing of Mark Clattenburg, though television replays showed that Gera’s early claim for a penalty was the result of the Hungarian tripping over his own feet rather than a defender’s. Wigan gradually enjoyed more of the possession and posed real problems for the Fulham defence. Charles N’Zogbia had their first chance, his low drive palmed away by Schwarzer, and Paul Scharner saw a clever chip – after Schwarzer completely misjudged a high ball – headed off the line by Hangeland. Wigan’s increasing confidence was illustrated by an ambitious long-range drive from Maynor Figueroa that Schwarzer had to turn over.

The Fulham goalkeeper had an uncharacteristically off-day and Wigan were the grateful beneficiaries just after the half hour. The Australian drove a clearance straight into touch giving them possession. Former Chelsea full-back Mario Melchiot sent over a deep cross that Marcelo Moreno headed back into Scotland’s path and the former Swansea striker surprised Schwarzer at his near post with a low shot. Scotland’s first Premier League goal gave Wigan a precious lead.

Pitiful defending has often undermined some excellent approach play in the final third from Martinez’s men this season and so it proved in the second half. Scharner, who had earlier been cautioned after hauling down Elm having surrendered possession in a dangerous position, was robbed by the maurauding Zoltan Gera. The Hungarian’s low cross was effortlessly lifted over a helpless Kirkland by Okaka for the Italian’s first league goal since arriving on loan from Roma in January.

Scotland had a shot blocked at source shortly afterwards but Fulham were now asking the questions. They went in front from a Damien Duff corner after Wigan left Hangeland inexplicably unmarked to thump a header in off the post. The tall Norwegian, sometimes criticised for a failure to score as many goals as a man of his height perhaps should from set-plays, could hardly pass up such a straightforward opportunity.

Wigan did stage a late rally that had Fulham clinging on a little but they barely troubled Schwarzer. Moses headed over the bar from a corner and Moreno’s long-range volley floated harmlessly into the Hammersmith End. Substitutes Scott Sinclair and Ben Watson poured forward in search of an equaliser but it was Fulham who looked more likely to score with Clint Dempsey denied by the sliding Titus Bramble as the home crowd roared for a penalty yet again.

It wasn’t the prettiest performance, but Hodgson will appreciate his side’s character in grinding this one out.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Davies, Konchesky, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy (Baird 88), Duff, Dempsey; Gera; Elm (Okaka 45, Nevland 88). Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Shorey, Greening.

BOOKED: Okaka.

GOALS: Okaka (47), Hangeland (58).

WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-5-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Figueroa, Bramble, Scharner; Diame, McCarthy, N’Zogbia (Watson 85), Scotland (Moses 61), Rodallega; Moreno (Sinclair 85). Subs (not used): Stojkovic, Gohouri, Amaya, Gomez.

BOOKED: Scharner, Figueroa.

GOAL: Scotland (34).

REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

ATTENDANCE: 22,730


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2010, 08:21:54 AM »
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/167251/Fulham-Roy-Hodgson-s-side-do-West-Ham-a-favour-by-beating-Wigan-
FULHAM: ROY HODGSON'S SIDE DO WEST HAM A FAVOUR BY BEATING WIGAN

FULHAM 2 WIGAN 1

ROY Hodgson insisted he was interested only in arresting a domestic slump, threatening to strip gloss from a magnificent season, but there was no getting away from the fact Fulham did West Ham a favour by beating Wigan.

Victory over West Ham’s relegation rivals came less than a week after the east London club had asked the Premier League to look into Hodgson’s team selection against Hull.

But yesterday, as a near full-strength Fulham came back from a goal down to overhaul Wigan and leave them within reach of the Hammers just above the drop zone, Hodgson maintained such matters were the least of his concerns.

“That was one of the happiest days of my time at Fulham,” said Hodgson.

“But not because of anything other than the fact if ever we were going to lose a game after a big European night like Thursday [a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg] this was it.

“After going a goal down it was a splendid performance, when everyone expected us to lose, and one that makes me very proud.”

Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland cancelled out Wigan’s first-half opener from Jason Scotland and Fulham also had a good shout for a penalty, when Titus Bramble fouled Clint Dempsey at the end, turned down by the otherwise excellent Mark Clattenburg.

Fulham travel to Wolfsburg on Thursday with a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League within reach confident their home form - after a first league win in five – is on track.

Hodgson said: “It’s now 53 games that we have played this season and it will be 60 at least before the season is out.

“This team is going on and on and we’ve done so much this year I just wish that there was a little more sympathy and understanding from some of the fans.

“When I hear shouts of ‘wake up’ from the stands I think it is not a question of waking up – there are tired legs out there. Sooner or later we are going to hit a barrier that we find insurmountable but I would just remind the fans what this team has achieved.”

After delivering his little broadside, Hodgson conceded graciously that it was a good day as they climbed to 41 points.

Bobby Zamora should be fit to face the German champions but David Elm, his replacement in the first half, will not be having been taken to hospital to have an ECG after suffering a relapse in a battle with a viral infection.

Fulham started well enough, going close with a diving header from Zoltan Gera and a left-foot shot from Elm both forcing good saves from Chris Kirkland.

They also had a loud penalty claim when Gera kicked the turf and upended himself in the 18th minute rightly waved off by Clattenburg as they continued to put pressure on Roberto Martinez’s side.

The visitors made the breakthrough against the run of play, as Scotland took his first league goal for Wigan well, cleanly hitting Marcelo Mareno’s lay-off on the edge of the box and beating Mark Schwarzer’s attempt to stop the ball creeping inside his near post.

For all their pressure, Fulham had to wait until the second half for their goals and inspirational Hungarian Gera gave them the platform.

Chasing a seemingly lost cause and snapping at the heels of Paul Scharner, Gera’s low cross was clipped in by Okaka. Then good work from Gera and Clint Dempsey forced a corner just before the hour and Hangeland met Damien Duff’s centre powerfully to head in off a post.

“We had two lapses in concentration which led to two goals which was very disappointing, having worked so hard in the first half,” said Wigan boss Martinez after defeat left his side just three points above West Ham with plenty more work to do this season before securing their safety.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Schwarzer 6; Davies 7, Hughes 8, Hangeland 7, Konchesky 6; Duff 6, Murphy 6 (Baird 88), Etuhu 6, Dempsey 6; Gera 9, Elm 6 (Okaka 46, 5 – Nevland 88). Booked: Okaka. Goals: Okaka 47, Hangeland 58.

WIGAN (4-1-4-1): Kirkland 5; Melchiot 5, Scharner 5, Bramble 6, Figueroa 6; Diame 6; N’Zogbia 5 (Watson 85), McCarthy 5, Scotland 6 (Moses 61, 6), Rodallega 6; Moreno 7 (Sinclair 85). Booked: Scharner. Goal: Scotland 34.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Durham)

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2010, 08:22:59 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6764
Hodgson salutes second half fightback
by Dan on April 4, 2010

Roy Hodgson was delighted with the way Fulham put a lacklustre first half behind them to beat Wigan this afternoon.

Fulham trailed at the break to a Jason Scotland strike and looked to be feeling the effects of their onerous European campaign but second half strikes from substitute Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland capped a fine comeback.

The first-half performance was way below the levels we set ourselves, but I know how much our players are putting into the Europa League matches and I wasn’t surprised. But the players dug deep, and that speaks volumes for their character.

Hodgson hopes Bobby Zamora will recover from an Achilles injury to face Wolfsburg on Thursday.

Bobby Zamora is suffering with a kicked achilles, but I’ll be very disappointed if he isn’t fit to face Wolfsburg.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2010, 08:24:55 AM »
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2010/0405/1224267705399.html
Hodgson left purring after victory
Fulham 2 Wigan Ath 1: A GLANCE at the standings had indicated that Wigan needed the points more than Roy Hodgson’s band of continental travellers. But a week in which Fulham will take a 2-1 lead to Wolfsburg in the Europa League quarter-finals began perfectly for Hodgson with a win that lifted his side to 41 points and the near-certainty of Premier League football next season.

The manager, understandably, was purring afterwards. “I’m very proud. This is the sixth week we’ve played three games in a row,” Hodgson said.

However, there wa concern for Hodgson after the half-hour, in a spell that ended with Jason Scotland scoring his first Premier League goal for Wigan. Mark Schwarzer began a sorry catalogue of incidents by fumbling a long ball near the edge of his area. Maynor Figueroa pinged in a diagonal cross-shot hybrid that had Schwarzer back-pedalling before he managed to tip the ball over. Wigan were heartened, and from their next offering the goal arrived. Mario Melchiot stepped up from his right-back berth to deliver a hanging cross to Marcelo Moreno, whose cushioned header found Scotland and the striker scored his first top-flight goal by skidding a left-footed effort beyond Schwarzer.

Hodgson vented his fury by directing a kick at a chair in his dug-out. The manager found further frustration when Chris Kirkland made a fine save from Damien Duff’s cross which, via a deflection from a defender, had been spinning towards Wigan’s goal. At half-time, Hodgson had to remove David Elm, who had come in for Bobby Zamora, who is struggling with an achilles problem.

“David’s still recovering from a virus,” said Hodgson. “With hindsight, I made the wrong decision playing him because at the moment he’s in hospital on an ECG machine. The virus in his body is still there.”

Into the fray, then, came Stefano Okaka. His impact was instantaneous. Zoltan Gera produced a touch of trickery to drive into Wigan’s area and his low ball found the striker, who is on loan from Roma. His back-heeled finish defeated Kirkland.

Then came Brede Hangeland’s first goal of the season, which proved the winner. Duff stood up a corner, the Norwegian rose to meet it and his header flipped in off Kirkland’s left-hand post.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2010, 08:26:54 AM »
http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/hodgson-hits-out-at-boo-boys-116387.html
Hodgson hits out at boo-boys

A SECOND-HALF recovery capped by Brede Hangeland’s headed winner means Fulham will head to Germany to face Wolfsburg in Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg lifted by victory.

Manager Roy Hodgson, though, fears his side’s remarkable achievements during a thrilling, marathon campaign – this was Fulham’s 53rd game of the season – may be creating unrealistic expectations on the part of the club’s supporters.


That triggered a chorus of boos, some directed at referee Mark Clattenburg, others apparently directed at the home players.

The second period saw a different Fulham, with Hodgson’s side looking more like their normal selves and boosting confidence that they can hold onto their lead when they return to action against Wolfsburg in midweek. The manager, though, revealed his frustration that his side had not been given more leeway by their own supporters.

"The crowd has been fantastic but you’re just hoping sometimes people will show some degree of understanding for the level of difficulty your team is facing," he said. "We were facing a team who have prepared all week for this game, it’s a vital game for them, they’re in a relegation battle. But still we’ve shown enough, we’ve dug deep and we’ve got another famous victory. So I’ve got to say this is one of the happiest moments I’ve had at Fulham because when everyone expects you to lose, when everything that’s being written says you’re not going to do it today and you do do it, then that’s when you deserve a pat on the back.

"It was the people behind me, the more executive types. I’m just trying to remind fans we do try to give them everything but we won’t in all the games. This was our 53rd game and sooner or later there will be a time when today’s first half performance continues for 90 minutes. It’s written in the stars. No team can go on and on.

"I just feel the players don’t deserve people shouting ‘wake up’. It’s not a case of waking up, it’s a case of getting tired legs going again in a very tough game."

Hodgson knows his side will falter at some point but correctly judges this season to have been a success no matter what the outcome on Thursday night.

Fulham’s hopes of adding Wolfsburg to their list of notable European scalps – Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk have already been eliminated from the competition by Hodgson’s side – will be boosted by the return of Bobby Zamora who sat out yesterday’s game with an achilles tendon injury.

Zamora was the only absentee from last Thursday’s game ensuring there will be no repeat of West Ham’s complaint about the Cottagers fielding a weakened team. Ironically it is the Hammers who will benefit from this result with Fulham’s victory leaving Wigan just three points ahead of Gianfranco Zola’s side.

Latics manager Roberto Martinez claimed his side were the architects of their own misfortune, with Paul Scharner at fault in the build-up to Stefano Okaka’s equaliser while the visitors marking was non-existent when Hangeland headed home from Damien Duff’s corner in the 58th minute.

"We’ve got two home games coming up and the home form will be vital," said the manager. "It’s going to be an exciting run-in."

MATCH RATING: ** – Fulham’s fatigue meant this game was always going to pale in comparison to many other games at Craven Cottage this season.

REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear) 6 – Correctly judged a series of early home claims for a penalty to be wildly optimistic but missed an obvious trip from Titus Bramble on Clint Dempsey late on.



 

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, April 05, 2010



Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/hodgson-hits-out-at-boo-boys-116387.html#ixzz0kCz4fFJF

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2010, 08:28:32 AM »
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/wigan-sunk-by-fulham-14754947.html

Wigan sunk by Fulham

Fulham 2 Wigan Athletic 1


Wigan Athletic's failure to make it two upsets in a weekend in southwest London, despite taking the lead, has left them still in very choppy, relegation-filled waters.


A fourth league win away from home – more than three months after their last – by Roberto Martinez's side would have gone a long way to casting off the shadow of the drop. When Jason Scotland, after 34 minutes, drove home his first ever top-flight league goal, it seemed a distinct possibility.


After all, Fulham have bigger fish to fry these days. With their Premier League status certain for another season, the Cottagers play the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final away against Wolfsburg on Thursday night. The Germans beat Hoffenheim 4-0 yesterday so must fancy their chances of overturning the 2-1 deficit.


Roy Hodgson's own confidence before the second leg enjoyed a boost too, with this win secured thanks to Brede Hangeland's first league goal of the season. They had pulled level with a flick from Stefano Okaka, the striker's first league goal too. Hodgson, more euphoric with every passing game, said: "This is one of the happiest days of my time at Fulham. Everything pointed to us losing but we won."


His mood was improved further by news that the club's top scorer Bobby Zamora, who was missing with a bruised Achilles heel, should be fit to face Wolfsburg. After the fiasco over Hodgson's team selection last week, when the Fulham manager didn't pick his best side against Hull, the London club were otherwise at full-strength. Not that it appeared that way up to Scotland's goal. Wigan's need for points was clearly the greater and when Mark Schwarzer spilled a cross outside the area, Paul Scharner's lob was headed off the line by Hangeland.


Schwarzer then tipped over Maynor Figueroa's shot and Wigan deserved their goal. Mario Melchiot crossed to Marcelo Moreno and the Bolivian headed down to Scotland, who beat the keeper at his near post.


A small number of Fulham fans seemed to boo their side off at half-time. "The crowd has been fantastic," Hodgson said afterwards, "but you hope people show some understanding for the level of difficulty we are faced with. There will be a time in these last six games when we will disappoint them. They don't deserve people shouting 'wake-up'. It is not a question of waking-up, it's a question of getting tired legs going again in a tough game."


Fulham's comeback started thanks to Scharner's failure to clear his area, one of two "lapses in concentration" highlighted by Martinez. The Austrian let in Zoltan Gera to cross for Okaka and nine minutes later Hangeland, from a Damien Duff corner, jumped highest to beat Chris Kirkland. Beat Wolfsburg and Hodgson will remember an even happier day than this.


Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Davies, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Murphy (Baird, 88), Etuhu, Dempsey; Gera, Elm (Okaka, h/t; Nevland, 88). Substitutes not used: Zuberbuhler (gk), Shorey, Smalling, Greening.


Wigan Athletic (4-2-3-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa; McCarthy, Diame; N'Zogbia (Watson, 85), Scotland (Moses, 61), Rodallega; Moreno (Sinclair, 85).


Substitutes not used: Stojkovic (gk), Gohouri, Amaya, Gomez.


Referee: M Clattenburg (Durham).


Bookings: Fulham Okaka; Wigan: Scharner, Figueroa.


Man of the Match: Hangeland



Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/premiership/wigan-sunk-by-fulham-14754947.html#ixzz0kCzUWBDw


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2010, 08:32:15 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/hodgson-asks-fulham-fans-stay-strong-747201
Hodgson asks Fulham fans to stay strong
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has asked certain sections of the Craven Cottage faithful to stay strong and remain patient.

The players were booed at half-time of Sunday’s home clash with Wigan when they were down 1-0 and although they rallied to record a 2-1 win thanks to second half goals from Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland, Hodgson wanted the remind the fans that sometimes they need to be aware that the players are producing their best efforts.

“The crowd has been fantastic but you do hope sometimes that people show some degree of understanding for the level of difficulty people are being faced with," said Hodgson.

"I am just taking the moment really to remind the fans we do still try to give them everything but there is going to come a time in these last six games when I'm pretty sure we will disappoint them.

"I am afraid that sooner or later there is going to be a performance like the first half against Wigan which goes on for 90 minutes and we lose two or three-nil at home because these things are written in the stars.

"No team can go on and on and on. I am bit annoyed with myself for talking about it. I am just making the point that we have done so much this year that I know that sooner or later, we are going to hit a barrier that we are incapable of surmounting.

"We have got six more games in the league and I know they won't be at the level of the previous 54 or 55. All I am saying is that it would be nice if people showed some sympathy and understanding for that.

"They don't deserve people shouting 'wake-up'. It is not a question of waking-up, it is a question of getting tired legs going again in a tough Premier League game."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2010, 08:33:29 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/hodgson-admits-wrong-decision-playing-fulham%E2%80%99s-elm-747191
Hodgson admits to wrong decision in playing Fulham’s Elm
Fulham striker David Elm should not have played in Sunday’s home win over Wigan according to manager Roy Hodgson.

The 27-year old Swede had to be taken to hospital at half-time because of a virus and Hodgson admitted it was a poor decision by him to let Elm take his place in the squad.

“He was totally shattered at half-time," added Hodgson. "With hindsight I made the wrong decision playing him because he is in hospital at the moment on an ECG machine because the virus in his body is still there.

"I could see that he was struggling. I thought it was maybe because he had not played for a while and the pace of the game was beyond him.

"I suddenly realised at half-time I had made a big mistake and that I should never have thrust him into a game of this nature. The illness took more out of him than I thought."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2010, 08:34:28 AM »
http://www.ananova.com/sport/story/sm_3735289.html?menu=
Hodgson optimistic about Zamora

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is hoping that star striker Bobby Zamora will be fit to face Wolfsburg in their Europa League quarter-final second leg in Germany on Thursday.

Zamora missed Sunday's 2-1 win over struggling Wigan because of an Achilles tendon injury, but Hodgson believes that Zamora - who scored in the 2-1 first leg victory over the German side - will be fit enough to lead the attack.

"Bobby suffers with his Achilles tendon, as do many players," said Hodgson. "The problem with those injuries is that if you get a kick on it, like he did the other day, it makes it worse. We were hoping he would recover in time to play against Wigan but didn't. The medical staff are optimistic he will recover in time for Thursday."

Zamora's replacement against Wigan, David Elm, only lasted until half-time after Hodgson admitted he blundered by selecting him.

Elm had not fully recovered from a virus and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

"He was totally shattered at half-time," Hodgson added. "With hindsight I made the wrong decision playing him because he is in hospital at the moment on an ECG machine because the virus in his body is still there.

"I could see that he was struggling. I thought it was maybe because he had not played for a while and the pace of the game was beyond him.

"I suddenly realised at half-time I had made a big mistake and that I should never have thrust him into a game of this nature. The illness took more out of him than I thought."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2010, 08:43:35 AM »
BBC Sport - Football - Fulham 2-1 Wigan
Fulham   2 - 1   Wigan

Fulham fought back from a goal down to end a run of three successive Premier League defeats at the expense of relegation-threatened Wigan.

Jason Scotland drilled in a first-half opener for Wigan after Marcelo Moreno chested down a Charles N'Zogbia cross.

But Fulham hit back strongly after the break, half-time substitute Stefano Okaka dinking in a Zoltan Gera centre.

And there was worse to come for the visitors when Brede Hangeland headed in Damien Duff's corner to seal victory.

It was a tenacious victory for Fulham, who looked jaded initially but rallied to clinch a result that hauls them to 41 points, effectively securing their Premier League future.

Wigan, who remain four points adrift of safety, had a chance to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone but were undone by familiar defensive shortcomings.

Fulham's teamsheet was always destined to come under forensic scrutiny after West Ham's complaint to the Premier League about the weakened side fielded by Roy Hodgson for last weekend's 2-0 defeat against Hull.

Hodgson reacted indignantly to the ensuing furore, insisting he had no case to answer, and here he made only one change to the side that defeated Wolfsburg 2-1 in Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final first leg, resting leading scorer Bobby Zamora.

That decision initially looked costly for Fulham, who faded rapidly after a strong opening spell during which Gera tested Chris Kirkland with a diving header before David Elm, Zamora's replacement up front, shot straight at the Wigan keeper.


Hodgson delighted with fightback against Wigan
This was Fulham's 53rd competitive fixture of a season in which they also reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, and the first-half signs were that the pressure of overstretched resources may finally be starting to tell.

The home support may feel that the referee, Mark Clattenburg, did little to help.

Clattenburg turned down a spurious penalty claim from Gera, who appeared to go down under a challenge from Mohamed Diame but in fact tripped over his own feet.

In truth, the greater problem for Fulham was a Wigan side invigorated by an urgent need to ease their relegation fears.

Their parlous league plight notwithstanding, Roberto Martinez's side favour an attractive brand of football, eschewing long-ball tactics and physical intimidation in favour of a more cultured passing game.

Having weathered Fulham's initial pressure, the virtue of that approach began to tell.


Defensive lapses cost us - Martinez
N'Zogbia drew a sharp save from Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer only to be wrongly ruled offside, while Paul Scharner twice went close, most notably with a lobbed effort that Hangeland headed away from under his own crossbar.

From the resulting clearance, Maynor Figueroa forced Schwarzer to tip over an audacious 40-yard effort, adding to the growing sense that Wigan were on the verge of a breakthrough.

Sure enough, moments later N'Zogbia spun a cross into the area, Moreno chested down for Scotland, and the former Swansea man drilled a low effort inside the near post for his first Premier League goal.

Hodgson was apoplectic, and his dugout seat felt the brunt of his displeasure.

But Wigan's attacking artistry is too often cancelled out at the other end, and within two minutes of the restart a defence breached eight times in the club's previous three away games was again found wanting.

Scharner's failure to complete a routine clearance allowed Gera to cut in from the left and centre for Okaka.

The forward, on loan from Roma and on as an interval replacement for Elm, stuck out a foot to clip in his first Premier League goal, and Fulham were back in the hunt.

Two minutes from the hour mark, Wigan's defensive shortcomings were highlighted again as Hangeland rose unopposed to head home Duff's corner.

Fulham continued to dominate and, although Wigan applied some late pressure on the home defence, they held out for a deserved victory ahead of Thursday's trip to Wolfsburg.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:

"The first-half performance was way below the levels we set ourselves, but I know how much our players are putting into the Europa League matches and I wasn't surprised.

"But the players dug deep, and that speaks volumes for their character.

"Bobby Zamora is suffering with a kicked achilles, but I'll be very disappointed if he isn't fit to face Wolfsburg."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez:

"In the first half we had to be at our best. We wanted to impose ourselves, and we did that.

"But two lapses of concentration cost us, and we got heavily punished.

"Fulham play with huge confidence at home and they only need half a chance to get a goal.

"I felt we deserved a lot more from our performance, which speaks volumes for our potential, but we need to be as good as we can be in every game."

Offline GoldCoastWhite

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Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2010, 08:45:55 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=194181
Fulham - Dempsey Slams West Ham!
With the West Ham complaint thing still rumbling around, one of those players who played in the weakened side at Hull City has spoken up.

Clint Dempsey, who has made his way back from a bad injury, has remarked,

"It`s disrespectful to me because I was on the pitch against Hull."

"I don`t feel I`m a weak player. I felt strong and confident and I tried to get the job done."

"West Ham are under-pressure, there is a lot of money at stake if you go down."

"I`m sure it`s frustrating for them, but we have to do what we think is best for the club."


Calm down Clint mate, don`t get so worked up! Just save our last goal of this season for the game against them and send them down!


Go on then Spam, dis the Deuce and suffer the consequences ! :014:

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2010, 03:59:27 PM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/04/05/1864395/fulham-boss-roy-hodgson-hoping-to-have-bobby-zamora-back-for
Fulham Boss Roy Hodgson Hoping To Have Bobby Zamora Back For Europa League Clash With Wolfsburg
Top scorer will be assessed ahead of Thursday's clash...
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is hoping to have striker Bobby Zamora fit in time to play in the second leg of the Europa League clash against Wolfsburg on Thursday.

The Cottagers carved out a 2-1 victory in the first leg thanks to goals from Zamora and Damien Duff, while conceding late as a header from Alexander Madlung pulled one back for the German champions.

The former Tottenham hitman was unable to feature in Sunday's victory over Wigan Athletic, but the gaffer hopes to have his player fit for the all-important second leg at the Volkswagen Arena.

"Bobby suffers with his Achilles tendon, as do many players," Hodgson told reporters after his side's weekend win.

"The problem with those injuries is that if you get a kick on it, like he did the other day, it makes it worse.

"We were hoping he would recover in time to play against Wigan but didn't. The medical staff are optimistic he will recover in time for Thursday."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2010, 04:01:21 PM »
http://www.wigan.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=194273
What The Bosses Said - Fulham 2-1 Latics
Wigan Athletic lost at Fulham yesterday after leading 1-0 at half time courtesy of Jason Scotlands first Premier League goal for the Latics, unfortunately a couple of lapses of concentration cost dearly as Fulham were gifted two goals and ultimately the three points.

After the game both managers spoke to the press, lets see what they had to say for themselves:

Latics boss Roberto Martinez:

'If you drop your concentration in games like we did in the second-half you'll get punished in this league, we came to Fulham with a brave and positive approach, worked very hard and got our noses in front. Then, all of a sudden, two lapses of concentration in the second-half really cost us.

'It's disappointing because our performance deserved more, but it was a self-inflicted defeat and that's the hard part to take.

'We knew Fulham were going to push us for an equaliser after the break and we conceded through our own faults.

'You have to stay concentrated in those circumstances and stay on top of the game.

'The hardest part of the game is to get in-front, which we did. But after that we gave two goals away and made it difficult to get back into the game.

'We had to change things round a few times to try and find new ways through Fulham.

'They were getting behind the ball quickly which made it difficult to expose them, and I don't think we got into the right positions enough after going behind to threaten them.

'When you're outplayed and opened up by teams you accept that you were second-best, but to gift the opposition two goals that lose you the game is difficult to take.'

The one big highlight of the day was Jason Scotland's first league goal for Wigan Athletic; a clean left-footed strike that Mark Schwarzer couldn't deal with, and the gaffer was delighted for the striker;

'Scoring from open-play against Fulham is not an easy task, and so I was delighted with his strike.

'Jason deserves that for the hard-work he's done in every role he's played.

'Getting the first-goal in a game is always important and so we're all delighted for Jason, it's just a shame it couldn't have been rewarded with three points to go with it.'

To watch the Martinez interview visit bbc.co.uk


Fulham boss Roy Hodgson:

'The first-half performance was way below the levels we set ourselves, but I know how much our players are putting into the Europa League matches and I wasn't surprised.

'But the players dug deep, and that speaks volumes for their character.

'Bobby Zamora is suffering with a kicked achilles, but I'll be very disappointed if he isn't fit to face Wolfsburg.'

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2010, 04:03:07 PM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/April/EtuhuEuropaPreview.aspx
Keeping the Dream Alive

Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu insists the Whites will head into Thursday’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final in confident mood.

Roy Hodgson’s side take a 2-1 lead to the Volkswagen Arena, and although the reigning Bundesliga champions very much remain in the tie, the 27-year-old believes his side have what it takes to extend their European adventure.

He told fulhamfc.com: “We have a lot of quality in this side, and we have to have the confidence that we can go there and progress. They’re a very good side and will also fancy their chances, but we’re in a good position.

“We have some very good players in this team, and a lot of experience. We’re used to playing in Europe now and know what we have to do.

“It’s a massive game for us, one of the biggest the Club has been part of. It’s one that everyone is looking forward to and there’s an opportunity to potentially play in a semi-final of a European competition. That would be a special moment for us all.”

The Nigerian international also praised Sunday’s result, with Fulham moving past the 40-point marker following a resilient 2-1 win against Wigan.

“It was an important victory for us,” explained Dickson. “It was a tough game and one that we knew that we needed to win. The Manager had been on at us, so we knew what needed to be done.

“It was a slow start, but I think we responded well and turned things around in the second-half – we kept going and claimed a deserved three points.

“Of course, our involvement in the UEFA Europa League has been fantastic, but it was vital that we consolidated our position in the Premier League. I don’t think there was ever any danger of us not achieving that, but to have 41 points lifts a little bit of pressure.

“That’s always the target and the figure that people tend to look towards. We achieved it last year as well, and hopefully we can kick on and finish this season as strong.

“It was a positive result and we have to take that into the game on Thursday. You always want to go into big games on the back of a victory and we can. We have to use that momentum now.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/April/EtuhuEuropaPreview.aspx#ixzz0kEq4nNPq

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2010, 04:04:23 PM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=194286
Fulham - Hodgson Let`s Rip!
After so many great performances there was always going to be a game where the performance didn`t quite reach the expectation levels.

Yesterday, against Wigan Athletic, Fulham struggled to get going and when they left the pitch, 1-0 down, at half time, there were some unsavoury noises coming from the main stand prompting (Sir) Roy Hodgson to have a go, at those fans who were starting to get on his sides back, in his post match press conference.

(Sir) Roy, talking about the barracking, had this to say,

"You hope people will show understanding for the level of difficulty being faced. It`s a vital game for Wigan, they`re faced with a relegation battle, but we`ve dug deep and got another famous victory."

"I mean the more executive types. I`m reminding fans that we will try to give them everything but there`s going to come a time in our last six games when we`re going to disappoint them, because it`s been 53 games and it`ll be 60 before the end of the season."

"I`m afraid that sooner or later there`s going to be a performance like the first half against Wigan which goes on through the ninety minutes."

"It would be nice if people showed some sympathy. I feel my players don`t deserve people shouting `Wake up`"

You`re perfectly right Roy, that is unless anybody wants to offer a different view!



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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2010, 04:05:46 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05042010/63/hodgson-calls-patience.html
Hodgson calls for patience
Roy Hodgson took time out to ask for some "sympathy and understanding" from Fulham fans after they booed his side off the pitch at half-time against Wigan.

Fulham were losing 1-0 to Jason Scotland's 34th goal - his first in the Barclays Premier League for Wigan - and some elements of the Craven Cottage faithful were not happy with the performance of the home side.

The Cottagers fought back to win the game 2-1 with second-half goals from substitute Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland and will now concentrate on Thursday's Europa Cup quarter-final second-leg at Wolfsburg.

However, Hodgson wanted to remind the Fulham fans that at some point before the end of the season, they might have to suffer a poor home performance.

"The crowd has been fantastic but you do hope sometimes that people show some degree of understanding for the level of difficulty people are being faced with," said Hodgson. "I am just taking the moment really to remind the fans we do still try to give them everything but there is going to come a time in these last six games when I'm pretty sure we will disappoint them.

"I am afraid that sooner or later there is going to be a performance like the first half against Wigan which goes on for 90 minutes and we lose two or three-nil at home because these things are written in the stars. No team can go on and on and on."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2010, 04:07:06 PM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=194285
Fulham - Zamora Latest Injury News!
If Fulham are to progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League there`s no doubt they stand a better chance if Bobby Zamora plays.

Wolfsburg, despite their current Bundesliga position, threaten to be our hardest European opposition so far and warmed up for the tie with an emphatic win this weekend.

Zamora, as you are all aware, missed the fixture against Wigan on Sunday with an Achilles injury.

Speaking about the injury, (Sir) Roy Hodgson had this to say,

"Bobby is suffering slightly from an Achilles injury as do many players."

"If you get a kick on it, it exacerbates the slight problem he has. He got a kick the other day which has bruised the Achilles."

"We were hoping he`d recover in time but he didn`t."

"But the medical staff are optimistic he will recover by Thursday."

Let`s hope that the rest works wonders for Bobby!


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2010, 04:08:31 PM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-keeper-schwarzer-slams-west-ham-complaint-748821
Fulham keeper Schwarzer slams West Ham complaint
Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has dismissed West Ham United's complaint over their team selection for defeat at Hull City.

The Aussie insists West Ham have only themselves to blame for their predicament.

Schwarzer said: "I don't think the team against Hull was weakened, especially if you look at who played.

"You're talking about Clint Dempsey, one of the best players in the American game. He has been one of our best players this season.

"You're talking about Bjorn Riise, a Norwegian international. Nicky Shorey played and he has also been a fantastic acquisition to the side. "I think West Ham are clutching at straws. The league table doesn't lie and you have to live and die by your own performances."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2010, 04:10:22 PM »
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/10/04/05/SOCCER_Fulham_Nightlead.html&TEAMHD=soccer
HUGHES DEFENDS HODGSON'S ROTATION
 
By Adrian Curtis, Press Association Sport

Wolfsburg 8/11 Draw 5/2 Fulham 4/1

Fulham defender Aaron Hughes insists boss Roy Hodgson is entitled to rest his players whenever he feels it is necessary.

The Premier League are expected to talk to Fulham this week following West Ham's complaint that they fielded a weakened team in their 2-0 defeat to Hull last week.

The league have already confirmed that the Hammers made an official protest at Fulham's decision to make six changes to their side against the Tigers.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan believes Fulham broke league rules by resting key players ahead of last week's Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg, which Fulham won 2-1.

The Cottagers made just one change to the side that beat the Germans when they defeated Wigan 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Jason Scotland had put Wigan in front in the 34th minute with his first Barclays Premier League strike for the club.

But second-half goals from substitute Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland kept Wigan dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Defender Hughes backed his manager's decision to rest players.

"He's entitled to do what he wants - at the end of the day he's the manager," said Hughes.

"If he wants to rest a few players and change a few things then that is his call, it is something that you see all the time but people tend to make a big deal out it when a team loses.

"The manager did what he needed to do and we certainly support that. We have not always had the luxury of resting players either.

"This is just what happens when you're involved in Europe and the latter stage of a cup competition. Those clubs that are used to such occurrences will all mix things up, bring players in and rest those that need it, why shouldn't we be able to do the same?"

Hodgson will not be afraid to rest more players with six games to go.

"We will make changes in the forthcoming six games, some of these players do need a rest," he said.

"It has been a magnificent season as far as I am concerned. What the players have done is lifted the club to another level. We have been given an awful lot of credit and the fans have been magnificent on European nights."

Fulham will now go to Wolfsburg on Thursday hoping to go on and reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.

But while Europe has been a nice distraction for the club, Hughes says a top-10 finish in the league remains a priority.

"I think everyone would agree that we have come a long way but at the same time we are under no illusions of what we need to achieve," said Hughes.

"It would definitely be nice to finish in the top half but it will be tough because there are three or four teams with similar ambitions.

"It would be a great achievement though, especially when you consider the amount of games we have had to play."

Captain Danny Murphy believes Fulham can go to Wolfsburg and finish the job to claim a place in the last four.

"I am very confident we can score ourselves in the second leg, so we will go there with the belief that we can and then they will have to score three to win the tie," he said.

"Their goal right at the end took the gloss off an otherwise fantastic night, but I don't think we should be too harsh on ourselves."

Meanwhile, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez hopes his young side can learn from expensive mistakes and avoid relegation.

Martinez's side were guilty of two critical lapses in concentration which allowed Fulham to win the game.

The defeat left Athletic hovering above the danger zone but Martinez hopes their home games - against Portsmouth, Arsenal and then Hull on May 1 - will see them through.

"We have got two home games (next) and the home form is going to be vital," admitted Martinez.

"But we are not far away. It is going to be an exciting run-in but I am more interested in our own performance.

"We don't want to be involved in things on the last day of the season.

"When we do the right things we can beat anyone. We beat Chelsea, Liverpool, and Aston Villa away from home but we need to make sure we mature quickly.

"We are young squad and it is a new group of players but the basics in football are concentration and learning to be a bit more ruthless.

"We performed well in the first half against Fulham but we gave away cheap goals in the second period. We have to learn from our lapses in concentration."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (05/04/10)
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2010, 04:11:58 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_6076876,00.html
Hodgson critical of boo boys
Fulham boss feels players deserve more respect
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has criticised some sections of supporters who booed his side off at the end of the first half of their game against Wigan on Sunday.

The Cottagers responded well in the second half, instantly replying 90 seconds after the restart through Stefano Okaka and eventually going on to win the game 2-1.

Hodgson's side have exceeded all expectations in Europe this season and are within touching distance of a Europa League semi-final should they avoid defeat against Wolfsburg in their quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

However, the Fulham boss was unhappy with the response of the Craven Cottage faithful - although many boos were aimed at referee Mark Clattenburg - after their European exploits appeared to take their toll on some players.

"The crowd has been fantastic but you do hope sometimes that people show some degree of understanding for the level of difficulty people are being faced with," he said.

"I am afraid that, sooner or later, there is going to be a performance like the first half against Wigan which goes on for 90 minutes and we lose two or three-nil at home because these things are written in the stars."

Understanding
Fulham have played over 50 games so far this season, with Hodgson rotating his squad to prevent a number of players becoming burnt out; something he felt supporters needed to appreciate.

"We have got six more games in the league and I know they won't be at the level of the previous 54 or 55," he added.

"All I am saying is that it would be nice if people showed some sympathy and understanding for that.

"They don't deserve people shouting 'Wake up'. It is not a question of waking up, it is a question of getting tired legs going again in a tough Premier League game."