Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)  (Read 3030 times)

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Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« on: May 03, 2010, 06:46:50 AM »,19528,11681_6130205,00.html

Hodgson cools Liverpool link

Fulham boss says he is happy at the club despite Reds talk

By James Riach   Last updated: 2nd May 2010

Roy Hodgson insists he is happy at Fulham after speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool.

The Cottagers manager has been revered of late for the job he has done at Fulham, after guiding them to a Europa League final to be played against Atletico Madrid later this month.

His side have come on leaps and bounds since they narrowly avoided relegation in the 2007/08 campaign, and Hodgson has been tipped to succeed Fabio Capello as England manager in recent weeks.

With matters at Liverpool clouded in uncertainty and Rafa Benitez's position reportedly on a knife edge, the Fulham boss has now been linked with a move to Anfield.

However, the experienced tactician has dismissed such suggestions and insists he is happy at Craven Cottage.

"I am happy here at Fulham," he said. "I have got a contract here at Fulham. I am happy with the job I am doing.

"My name is sufficiently strong at the moment to be linked with other jobs and, of course, that is flattering and it is nice to hear.

"But as far as I am concerned it is speculation because I am at Fulham.

"We all prefer praise to criticism and love to hatred. It would be ludicrous to suggest I am not enjoying people saying and writing nice things about me and the team.

"But I am trying to keep a level head and keep things in perspective."

Fulham managed a 3-2 win over West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday but all eyes are geared towards that Hamburg final on 12th May.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 06:51:27 AM »,19764,11065_3269416,00.html

Cottagers too much for Hammers

Hodgson's side up to 10th in Premier League

By Mike Barton   Last updated: 2nd May 2010 

Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey was always a threat for the home side. And scored the opening goal.

Goal of the match: Dempsey's opener came from a slick batch of passing but West Ham's defending has left a lot to be desired.

Moment of the match: Carlton Cole went from scoring an own goal at one end to burying a header at the other in a topsy-turvy few minutes for the England striker..

Talking points: Is this the last time Gianfranco Zola takes his team away from home or will he stay at the club despite his entire squad practically being up for sale? Can Fulham keep everyone fit and go into their Europa League final on a good run of form?

Fulham finished their penultimate home game of the season with a 3-2 win over West Ham in a game that spelled little consequences for either side.

Despite the scoreline giving the appearance of an exciting affair, the game's goals came more as a result of seemingly lackadaisical defending in what, for the most part, lacked any real competitive edge, with no player picking up a booking for either team.

With Fulham preparing for their first ever European final in the Europa League against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, manager Roy Hodgson fielded a weakened side as he looked to keep his heroes of Thursday night's win over Hamburg fresh.

The opening stages of the game however were a stale affair, with both sides knowing there were to be no ramifications of winning or losing the game at any stage.

Clint Dempsey gave the home side the lead out of nothing at the end of a lacklustre first half and an own goal by Carlton Cole put them 2-0 ahead shortly after the restart.

Gianfranco Zola's side managed to respond in the second period, but they were made to pay for poor defending for the Fulham goals.

Cole redeemed himself when he headed West Ham back into the game, but substitute Stefano Okaka put Fulham 3-1 in front from close range in the 79th minute.

An injury-time goal from Guillermo Franco was of little consolation to the visitors.
Full voice

Fulham, with their fans in full voice, began the game in bright fashion but without striker Bobby Zamora their final ball left a lot to be desired.

Zoltan Gera, the hero of their Europa League semi-final triumph over Hamburg, was on the bench and they clearly missed his trickery and incisive passing in the early exchanges.

West Ham, although effectively safe from relegation, failed to offer anything in terms of attacking football.

Goalmouth incidents were at a premium in the opening 10 minutes although Fulham's Erik Nevland and Dempsey posed a threat to the visitors.

In the 21st minute Dempsey put Nevland in the clear but he did not have the pace to reach the ball before the onrushing West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green.

Fulham's European success appeared to have sucked the life out of them although the fans quite rightly made the most of it, chanting "There's only one team in Europe".

Mark Schwarzer produced a fine save to prevent Mark Noble's 20-yard shot from finding the net in the 23rd minute.

Dempsey was just the width of the woodwork away from opening the scoring in the 26th minute when his superb turn and shot from 20 yards hit the bar.

But it was an isolated moment of magic in a poor game. West Ham's passing was disappointing and Fulham could not get into their stride.

In the 40th minute Manuel Da Costa forced Schwarzer into another fine save when the West Ham full-back managed to get some space 25 yards out.

The Fulham defence continued to back off Da Costa and he required no further invitation as he let fly from the angle of the penalty area, but Schwarzer dived to his left to keep the ball from finding the net.


Dempsey broke the deadlock when he collected a pass from Simon Davies in stoppage-time and fired past Green.

Fulham made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when Cole put through his own goal. Chris Baird's shot was going well wide of the target until it smashed off the shoulder of the West Ham striker and into the net.

But Cole redeemed himself in the 61st minute when he glanced home a free-kick from Scott Parker to reduce the deficit.

The England striker cleverly managed to evade the home defence and gave Schwarzer no chance with a deft header.

Cole then tried his luck from 20 yards as West Ham took the game to the home side for the first time in the afternoon, but his low drive went straight into the arms of Schwarzer.

Fulham, rattled by West Ham's response to going two down, tried to rediscover their earlier verve but the visitors now had the upper hand.

Parker almost got on the end of a knock down by Cole in the 68th minute but he was adjudged to have handled as he moved in on goal.

Fulham made it 3-1 in the 79th minute when Jonathan Spector was caught in possession by Nevland and he crossed for substitute Okaka to fire home from six yards.

Franco scored an injury-time consolation to make the score 3-2, smashing home from near the penalty spot after Parker pulled the ball back.

Fulham   Team Statistics   West Ham United
3   Goals   2
1   1st Half Goals   0
2   Shots on Target   5
2   Shots off Target   3
3   Blocked Shots   0
9   Corners   3
14   Fouls   16
1   Offsides   3
0   Yellow Cards   0
0   Red Cards   0
77.7   Passing Success   79.1
24   Tackles   29
70.8   Tackles Success   69
49.1   Possession   50.9
51.3   Territorial Advantage   48.7

White Noise

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 06:53:01 AM »

Fulham to Wear Third Kit

Sunday 2nd May 2010

Fulham FC News

Following the finalists’ meeting in Hamburg on Friday, UEFA instructed that as Fulham had been drawn as the away club, the governing body of the competition had decided what kits both teams would wear for the Final.

To differentiate entirely from Atletico Madrid's home strip, UEFA specified that Fulham would wear its Third Kit.

A commemorative version of the Third Kit will be available with a specially stitched inscription celebrating the Team's place in the Final.

This will shortly be available for purchase via the Club's retail outlets.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 06:54:28 AM »

Nevland Targets Top Ten Finish

Sunday 2nd May 2010

Fulham FC News

Erik NevlandErik Nevland was in good spirits on Sunday evening after playing a key role in Fulham’s 3-2 victory over West Ham United.

The Norwegian played the full 90 minutes in the win which produced more action than most expected coming so soon after the dramatic UEFA Europa League semi-final victory over Hamburg.

Roy Hodgson made seven changes from the side that started on Thursday, but those that came into the team certainly did themselves justice with a positive and deserved result.

“It was nice to get a win,” assessed Nevland. “And it was nice for the guys that played today to get a positive result.

“After Thursday night nothing was really expected and you don’t know how you will react after a night like that, but we reacted in the right way, played well and got the three points, which was important.”

With one of the all-time high occasions in the Club’s history still fresh in the memory, and rain and wind doing much to dampen spirits on the banks of the Thames, the team may have been forgiven for a slightly lacklustre display, but Erik confirmed that the players were as focused as ever before kick-off.

“Mentally you’re ready whatever the occasion, so it’s just a case of how the body reacts when you get out there. But we had the crowd behind us from the start – they certainly kept going from Thursday night – which really gave us the push we needed, so they played their part in helping us on today.”

The three points took the Whites to 10th in the Premier League table – a position that the squad have set as a definite target - and given our exertions in Europe, maintaining this league placing would represent a very positive achievement.

“It’s in our hands now and that’s the way we want it,” said Erik. “If we beat Stoke we have a good chance of securing our place in the top 10, so that’s our aim for the rest of the season.”

So with just two games remaining, thoughts now turn to the Potters’ visit on Wednesday when the right result could secure that top half finish, although with their eyes on the same prize, Erik says it won’t be easy.

“They’ll come here and do their best. Stoke are always a difficult team to play against and they will do everything to get in the top 10 just as we will, so it will be an interesting game.”

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 06:55:46 AM »

Roy's West Ham Reaction

Sunday 2nd May 2010

Fulham FC News

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Roy Hodgson gave his reaction to Sunday's victory over West Ham at the Cottage:

"I wanted to win. I didn't want to have an 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' feeling," said Hodgson.

"I thought our performance was very disciplined and hard-working and that we were good value for our victory.

"I am delighted that we could rest some players and I am pleased with those who came in.

"I thought that the quality of our play was good throughout, both offensively and defensively.

"It proved that we do have a bench that is worthwhile and we do have players who can go in and enable me to not have to play the same 11 players.

"We all prefer praise to criticism and love to hatred. It would be ludicrous to suggest I am not enjoying people saying and writing nice things about me and the Team. But I am trying to keep a level head and keep things in perspective."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 06:56:55 AM »

From the Other Side

Sunday 2nd May 2010

Fulham FC News

Speaking after Sunday's Barclays Premier League game at Craven Cottage, West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola gave his assessment of the encounter:

"I thought in the first-half we were the better team," said Zola.

"But then they scored the first goal. In the first 15 minutes after half-time they scored a second and after that we played better.

"But it was not enough and I am disappointed because this season away from home, we have not been very good.

"The last week has been great because we got the points we needed and achieved our task. I wanted to focus on the football because that is something we have not been unable to do.

"We came here to win but it did not work out. It is not the first time away from home. We have to do better.

"I don't want to look for excuses. We have not been good enough away and I am the first to take responsibility for that."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 06:58:19 AM »
Fulham 3- 2 West Ham

Following Fulham’s European heroics on Thursday evening, Roy Hodgson elected to give a number of players a much-needed period of recovery for the visit of West Ham.

Fulham looked the more inventive early on when Bjorn Helge Riise fired a teasing low delivery across the face of the West Ham six yard box on seven minutes.

West Ham’s forward line was manned by Carlton Cole and Araujo Ilan, they were up against Chris Baird and Chris Smalling in what made for an intriguing battle. Despite the clear disparity in height between Cole and Baird, the Fulham defender won more than his fair share of balls in the air.

Whilst there was plenty of industry on show from both sides in the midfield area, neither side was able to craft an opening of any note as defences were most certainly on top in the opening 20 minutes.

A fast counter-attack from the Whites on 21 minutes saw Kagisho Dikgacoi play the ball into the path of the rapidly advancing Erik Nevland, unfortunately Robert Green was off his line quickly to clear the danger just before Nevland was able to apply the decisive touch. West Ham immediately forged an opportunity of their own when Mark Noble turned on the edge of the penalty area and forced a fine save from Mark Schwarzer.

As the game started to open up Clint Dempsey received a first-time pass from Nevland and struck a shot which just clipped the top of the crossbar. Fulham were certainly attacking with great purpose as the game took on a more direct style.

When not in possession the Whites did well to maintain their shape which resulted in West Ham often working the ball across the pitch in search of a forward pass.

With the first-half seemingly heading for the interval lacking any real incident, Manuel da Costa drilled a powerful 30-yard shot which Schwarzer could only parry behind for a corner. From the ensuing set-piece Radoslav Kovac headed just wide.

Clint Dempsey gave Fulham the lead with the final piece of action before the half-time whistle. Dempsey started the move off by chesting the ball to Simon Davies who took a touch before playing the American in behind the West Ham defence. Dempsey did well to clip a smart finish past Green at his near post.

Fulham started the second-half well and had West Ham on the back foot almost straight off the bat when Jonathan Greening’s powerful 50 yard run down the left resulted in a corner for the Whites.

Fulham doubled their lead on 58 minutes when a half-cleared corner fell to Chris Baird, his shot cannoned off Carlton Cole and flew past Robert Green into the net. Cole made amends minutes later when he got the faintest of touches to Scott Parker’s free-kick, enough to steer it away from Mark Schwarzer and into the back of the net.

The goal certainly injected a greater sense of urgency into the Hammers’ attacking movements as both sides were now looking likely to score.

Simon Davies made way for Stefano Okaka on 69 minutes. Okaka joined Clint Dempsey in attack, allowing Erik Nevland to take up a position on the right flank. It proved to be a shrewd tactical move as Nevland robbed Jonathan Spector of possession in a dangerous area on 79 minutes. With Okaka taking up a fine position at the far post, Nevland played an accurate final pass to the Italian Under-21 international who applied a simple finish.

The goal appeared to subdue West Ham, who up to that point had been threatening to get back on level terms.

David Elm replaced Clint Dempsey on 85 minutes as Fulham looked to see out the remaining minutes with their two-goal cushion intact. But Guillermo Franco set up a nervy final few minutes when he fired past Schwarzer after good work form Scott Parker - but it was too little too late from the Hammers.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 07:03:17 AM »
Fulham 3 West Ham 2: Roy Hodgson's 'ladies' keep Fulham on the march

By Laura Williamson

Last updated at 9:31 PM on 2nd May 2010

Instead of after the Lord Mayor’s show, it was ladies’ day at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Fulham were labelled a ‘ladies team’ by West Ham joint chairman David Gold after resting key players ahead of a Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg and losing 2-0 at Hull.

But eight of the side beaten at the KC Stadium in March, which prompted a West Ham protest, started on Sunday — and how well they did.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was pleased to have avoided the ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ feeling that could have come after Fulham’s remarkable win against Hamburg in the Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

He made seven changes to face West Ham and said: ‘I’m delighted that we could rest some players and very pleased that those I had confidence in went and did the job for us.

'It just proves that we do have a bench that is more than worthwhile.

‘I spoke to Gianfranco Zola after the Hull match and he was fully understanding. The complaint didn’t come from any of the technical staff.

'I wanted to win today. We were quite kind to them, but overall we were good value for our victory.’

The first half was typical of an encounter between two teams with other matters on their minds. A ‘bread and butter’ match, as Hodgson put it.

West Ham manager Zola looks increasingly likely to leave the club in the summer, with Croatia boss Slaven Bilic lined up for a return to Upton Park.

The Hammers’ goal difference means they are all but assured of Premier League football next season, but it is a good job as they have won once on their travels this season, a 2-0 win at Wolves on the opening day.

Zola said: ‘I don’t think any of the players lacked commitment, but we haven’t been good enough. I don’t want to find excuses. The speculation doesn’t affect me.

'There’s always something going on. It’s been like that since I came to the club.’

For Fulham, all eyes are on their Europa League final against Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday week, even though Hodgson was forced to dismiss reports saying he will succeed Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.

He said: ‘I know nothing at all about my name being linked with the job. I’m happy at Fulham. It’s flattering but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s pure speculation.’


FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer 6; Pantsil 6, Baird 6, Smalling 6, Konchesky 6; Riise 6, Dikgacoi 7, Greening 6, Davies 6 (Okaka 70min, 6); Nevland 6; Dempsey 8 (Elm 86, 5).

WEST HAM (4-4-2): Green 5; Faubert 5 (Diamanti 61, 5), Upson 5, Da Costa 6, Spector 4; Behrami 5 (Stanislas 83, 5), Kovac 5, Parker 7, Noble 7; Ilan 5 (Franco 61, 6), Cole 5.

Man of the match: Clint Dempsey.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Clint Dempsey set Fulham on their way to an 11th home League win with a cool right-foot finish on the stroke of half-time.

The USA forward, who had earlier hit the bar with a chipped 25-yard effort, beat England goalkeeper Robert Green after playing a neat one-two with Simon Davies and slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Fulham doubled their advantage after 58 minutes as Carlton Cole deflected a Chris Baird volley into his own net.

The own goal capped a miserable first hour for Cole, who was taunted by Fulham fans with chants of ‘Bobby for England’.

Craven Cottage’s own potential England striker, Bobby Zamora, watched from the stands, nursing an achilles injury that makes him a doubt for Hamburg.

But Cole responded with his first goal since January 20, ghosting past a static Fulham back line to nod a Mark Noble free-kick past Mark Schwarzer three minutes later.

Fulham, however, sealed their first home League win over West Ham for 44 years after 79 minutes.

Erik Nevland punished Jonathan Spector for his casual jog across his own box and substitute Stefano Okaka side-footed the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

Guillermo Franco grabbed a late consolation for West Ham in stoppage time. The substitute drilled a right-foot shot past Schwarzer from Scott Parker’s cross.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 07:06:07 AM »
Roy writing the history that Fulham so deserve

The Europa League is a far-off competition of which we know little. So what were the chances of this distant stranger providing the happiest story of the English football season? It took Fulham to turn a consolation bauble into a glittering prize; in reaching the Europa final, the club without an enemy is now the club without a care.

The very mention of Fulham unleashes a flutter of rosetinted memories. There was nonpareil Johnny Haynes and the effervescent George Cohen. The eccentric Tosh Chamberlain and the jobbing buccaneer named Jimmy Hill, who never forgot his debt to Craven Cottage.

Later came that brief, bewildering era when Bobby Moore, George Best and Rodney Marsh brought the vaudeville aura of the Harlem Globetrotters to the staid old Football League. And still later, as the game became earnest and a sense of fun was seen as a sign of weakness, Fulham's fortunes declined.

Long ago, I spoke to Bill Dodgin, an old friend and a Fulham manager, about the state of the club. 'Wonderful history,' I said, brightly. 'Bugger the history,' said Bill. 'Give me a half-decent team.'

Well, Roy Hodgson has turned them into rather more than a half-decent team. With sound principles and sensitive man-management, he has utilised the wisdom and talent of a stunning career. And he has done so without even a hint of the self-advertisement which characterises lesser managers and lesser men.

One day, he will stand alongside Haynes and the rest in the pantheon. I doubt that the thought detains him. In the manner of dear old Dodgin, he would say: 'Bugger the history, give us the Europa title.'

A good man, Roy Hodgson. Let us hope that he is about to make some history for his gem of a football club.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 07:08:24 AM »
England next for Hodgson

Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello have managed England because of a lack of homegrown alternatives.

But if Capello leaves for any reason after the World Cup this summer, the Football Association wouldn't have to look much further than Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson's European exploits have captured the public imagination this season, particularly as his Fulham team seemed down and out against Juventus and Hamburg before reaching the Europa League final.

He's clearly an excellent coach and organiser, an intelligent football man and good communicator.

The one question-mark against him - can he handle the big names? - can be answered by his record at Inter Milan.

Hodgson and Harry Redknapp have shown that English managers can compete at the highest level.

Hodgson's achievement in taking Fulham to their first European final speaks volumes

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 07:09:57 AM »
44: Johnny Haynes

You could argue that Fulham are creating a new legend over at Craven Cottage this season – what with their European exploits and all.

But any Cottagers fans who watched the side during the 1950s and 1960s will testify to the memory of Haynes.

The country’s first £100-a-week player made 594 appearances and scored 146 goals but the west London club never even got close to winning the league.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 07:18:37 AM »
Roy Hodgson has single-handedly rescued the Europa League.

Thanks to the success of his Fulham side, this abominable, overblown mish-mash of a competition, designed by UEFA to provide a parachute for Champions League dropouts, has suddenly been dusted with romance and invested with genuine meaning.

Had the draw thrown up a final between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid, it would have been a sideshow squabble for a consolation prize. But for Fulham it offers a new frontier, which is why grown men were weeping with delight as they claimed their place in the final.

I only hope Hodgson, the undoubted Manager of the Year and a thoroughly decent and dignified character to boot, returns from Hamburg with the trophy he so richly deserves.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2010, 01:24:51 PM »
...good to see so many positive reports recently, and a certain amount of bias in our favour creeping in - is this what it is like supporting a 'big' team..?


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (03.05.10)
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 01:31:42 PM »

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson and Danny Murphy share a hug after reaching the Europa League final
 Sunday May 2,2010
By Colin Mafham  Have your say(0)
FULHAM owner Mohammed Al Fayed is set to reward manager Roy Hodgson and his players with a bumper bonus for their historic achievement in reaching the Europa League final in Hamburg on May 12.

Harrods boss Al Fayed (above, right), who has already spent more than £280million on the Premier League club, is expected to splash the cash again to say thank you to Hodgson and co for turning unfancied Fulham into Britain’s only Euro finalists this season.


And he is also likely to step up efforts to secure 62-year-old Hodgson’s services beyond the official retirement age after his manager declined to commit his long-term future to the club whose fortunes he has transformed in little more than two years.

Hodgson admitted he didn’t know how much longer he will be at Fulham, saying: “I’m only 62 and I don’t know where I’ll end my days.

“Let’s see where we go from here and see where that takes us.”

Exactly how much Hodgson and his players will now pocket in bonuses is being kept a secret because of sensitivities over players’ pay. But Hodgson revealed: “Mr Al Fayed is very generous and is always prepared to reward us.

“Of course we have to be careful about rewards because we are already well-paid people. But hopefully
we can also reward him for all the effort and money he has put in.”

Hodgson, however, admitted that he and Fulham are in footballing heaven.



“I’ve had some great moments and results that have excited people in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy,” said Hodgson. “But right now all this is a magnificent feeling.

“You’d have got very big odds on Fulham reaching a European final when we started last year in the second qualifying round.

“But these players have produced performances time and time again against Europe’s best, and have deservedly won matches without any luck.”

Fulham are at home to London rivals West Ham in the Premier League today and Hodgson added: “We’ve still got four games to go this season and it would be nice if we could keep our league form going. But I can’t keep whipping these boys time and time again.

“I suppose they could crack up but they haven’t done so for 59 games, so maybe I’ll get another four out of them!”