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Hodgson faces up to Hull problem

last updated Friday 15th August 2008, 10:17 AM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that Saturday's trip to the KC Stadium will be the first time he has set foot in Hull.

Tigers fans have been counting down the days ever since City's play-off victory in May confirmed they would be playing in the Barclays Premier League for the first time.

Fulham had only just avoided relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship themselves and will make history by becoming Hull's first top-flight opponents.

And while Hodgson may have managed in Milan, Switzerland and Finland over the years, Hull had never previously been on his radar.

Asked when was the last time he had been there he replied: "I have never been to Hull."

Hodgson has watched the Tigers in action however, travelling to Edinburgh to take in a pre-season friendly bout with Hearts as well as mulling over a few videos.

And he was more than aware that playing a freshly-elevated side often came with extra problems.

"We all know that most teams prefer to stay away from newly-promoted teams in the early part of the season because they often start like a house on fire," Hodgson said.

"I can't say that is a draw, if you like, we would have chosen but you play every team twice and take each team as they come.

"Hull might not be one of the teams tipped for one of the top places but we are fully aware that they will be firing on all cylinders and we will have to be at our best to get a result.

"I'm sure we will be nervous, as they will be, and it will be an exciting encounter."

The home fans are sure to give Hull a noisy backing but Hodgson is not expecting the decibel levels to match those of the bigger grounds.

He added: "I'm sure Hull will be counting on that but it won't be the only time during the season we will have to face that situation.

"We will have to go to places like Anfield and there are plenty of grounds where the atmosphere is going to be fierce and the support fanatical.

"We have to come to terms with that and it is part of the beauty of the game.

"If Hull's supporters can help them to win games then congratulations to them but I would like to think we are strong enough to cope.

"We are going to treat Hull with the respect they deserve after having a great season and getting promoted through the play-offs, which is a tough thing to do.

"We are preparing for a match that will test us to the limit."

































































Source Jon West at PA Sport
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