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Roy of the Fulham hails Kamara

last updated Saturday 09th May 2009, 10:16 PM

Premiership Fulham boss Roy Hodgson
Fulham boss
Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson paid tribute to goal hero Diomansy Kamara after the striker's brace earned them a fine 3-1 win over fifth-placed Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

It was Kamara's first start since he damaged cruciate knee ligaments while on international duty with Senegal last June and his goals pushed Fulham back into seventh place.

Captain Danny Murphy gave Fulham the lead from the penalty spot in the seventh minute after Kamara had been fouled by James Milner.

Ashley Young levelled for Villa seven minutes later but Kamara fired the home side back in front at the start of the second half and completed the scoring with a cheeky backheel on the hour.

''We didn't get Diomansy back from the cruciate injury he sustained until February, so he has done exceptionally well to recover as quickly as he has,'' said Hodgson.

''He sustained the injury in a World Cup qualifier last June and those injuries take a minimum of six months and often nine months.

''He has been used as a substitute since we got him back but this was his first start.

''He got his chance because Andrew Johnson is still not fit and Bobby Zamora was not fit enough to start the game.

''He took his chance with open arms. I thought his performance was very good and not just with his goals. He was a constant thorn in the side of the Aston Villa defence.

''He was a model of tactical discipline and the way he played tested the Aston Villa back-four to the limit.''

Hodgson added: ''Apart from the three goals, we created other chances. It was one of our best performances of the season. The quality of our passing and movement was good.

''Our defending got better but they are not an easy team to defend against because they have two wingers.

''We played with tactical discipline and it was nice to get a good result and performance after last week's defeat to Chelsea.

''We didn't do ourselves real credit against Chelsea and it was strong of the boys to bounce back against another strong team today.''

Villa manager Martin O'Neill was at a loss to explain his side's second-half performance but admitted Fulham deserved to win the contest.

Luckily for Villa, they remain in fifth place after Everton's failure to beat Tottenham at Goodison Park.

''In the second half I thought we were very poor,'' admitted O'Neill. ''Going forward I thought we were excellent in the first half and could easily have gone in at half-time in front.

''But the overall picture was not so rosy in the second half. We conceded an early goal and never really got going. The second half was disappointing, we never tested their goalkeeper.

''We didn't play well enough in the second half and Fulham deserved to win on their performance.

''We were playing away from home and had plenty of possession, but the two halves were day and night.

''It wasn't that we were disappointing from start to finish but by our own standards, we had a desperately poor second half. We never got into it. You would not have believed we had sat in the top six all season by our second-half performance.''

O'Neill added: ''It is a tough old season and (there are a) few lessons to be learned and we need a squad capable of dealing with not only domestic football but European ventures.

''It has been proved by the top four, who are excellent at domestic football and the Champions League, that it is a hard nut to crack.

''The top four are there on merit because they are the best four teams not only in Britain, but they are probably four our of the top seven in European football.''

Source soccernet
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