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Roy of The Fulham happy with win

last updated Saturday 20th December 2008, 7:45 PM

Premiership Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson
Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard's future remains under the spotlight after the England international midfielder put Fulham on the way to a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

The Cottagers moved up to eighth in the Barclays Premier League and stretched their unbeaten run to seven games after Bullard set them on the way in the 41st minute.

A controversial second-half penalty from Danny Murphy and a third from Clint Dempsey completed a satisfactory afternoon for Fulham boss Roy Hodgson.

But once again Hodgson found himself having to field questions over Bullard's future as the January transfer window looms amid increasing speculation the player will move on.

"I don't want players to leave this club," said Hodgson.

"If the moment arrives and a big offer comes in for one of our top players, I and the club will have to take a position on that.

"I don't want to lose him. I don't want to put a figure on the guy's head because I hope he is going to be playing for us for the rest of the season.

"I am happy with the way the team is playing. Jimmy is working very hard at his game. He is getting forward more and in good form and let's hope the situation resolves itself. But don't forget he has one and a half years left on his contract.

"I think Jimmy is doing a good job but a lot of players are doing a fantastic job in this team.

"Danny Murphy has done a remarkable job in his quiet way. Jimmy has done his bit and I am the first to recognise and thank him for it but it is wrong to make this a one-man club.

"That would be very demeaning of the other players and also it is quite strange that so much talk is going on about a player who has 18 months of his contract left to run, who missed a year's football through injury and who has been nursed back into this type of form by the club during the year when he couldn't play at all.

"I and the rest of the players can feel a bit aggrieved that all the talk seems to be revolving around one man and that doesn't seem correct."

Hodgson's side benefited from a crucial penalty award from referee Keith Stroud in the second half when Tony McMahon's attempted clearance hit Bobby Zamora and bounced back onto his arm.

But the Fulham boss said: "I wasn't jumping in the air and screaming penalty. It was one of those decisions that can go either way and perhaps they do even themselves out over the season."

Middlesbrough have not won for six games but manager Gareth Southgate refused to hide behind Stroud's penalty decision in assessing his team's performance.

"I think we were second best in every department," said Southgate.

"It was an uncharacteristic performance from us which is unacceptable.

"We knew coming to Fulham that they are very strong defensively and they pass the ball well.

"The first goal was always going to be crucial and we conceded a poor one, we conceded poor goals on the day. Our quality in the final third wasn't good enough.

"We tried to change it at half-time and looked a bit brighter for a spell.

"But then the second goal kills the game. That was a big decision that has gone against us for the third week running.

"But I've said to the players we can't hide behind that. We were not good enough. We can only affect ourselves but I do think it was an unbelievable decision. I just don't know what he is supposed to do to get out of the way of it.

"He attempts to clear the ball, it hits Zamora who is a yard away from him and it bounces up and hits him on his hand. It is a staggering decision to be honest.

"Everybody can see the decision for themselves, it shouldn't need me to comment on it. But it was amazing."

Source Adrian Curtis, PA Sport
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