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Fulham are through to the quarter-finals

last updated Monday 15th February 2010, 1:38 PM
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Andrew Dillion at SunSport


Fulham 4 Notts County 0


ROY HODGSON has urged Fulham to write a new chapter in their history.

The Cottagers are through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and face a home tie against either Bolton or Spurs after hammering Notts County 4-0.

And a win then would give Fulham their first Wembley appearance for 35 years as the Cup semis are played there.

Boss Hodgson said: "We should seize the opportunity to achieve greatness.

"Getting to Wembley would be another major step forward for us.

"We'll be motivated and nervous about the quarter-final because we badly want a result."

Fulham may have adopted The Good Housekeeping Guide's approach to football but it has put boss Hodgson and his boys one step from Wembley and a £2million bonanza in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Hodgson takes pride in Fulham's prudence and the club's refusal to overstretch itself financially.

Despite some attractive football from Notts County, Hodgson's team barely had to break sweat as they swept into the last eight with ruthless efficiency.

The money and the magic has disappeared from County - along with Sven Goran Eriksson.

After all, the Swedish lothario has clearly got much better things to do on Valentine's Day than watch his team, despite accepting a post as life vice-president at Meadow Lane.

The Magpies now have battles to fight with the taxman in court a week on Wednesday over an outstanding £600,000 bill and a push for promotion from League Two, which recommences this Wednesday against Grimsby.

For Fulham the cash is not yet rolling in - but the goals are.

Seven have been scored in the last two matches.

Simon Davies, Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and new-boy Stefano Okaka made sure Fulham head into a crucial week on a high as they prepare to face UEFA Cup holders Shaktar Donetsk in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday.

Hodgson said: "Bobby has 13 goals now and that is a good return for the games he's played.

We are also getting goals from people like Damien Duff.

"There are goals in the midfield, David Elm will chip in and hopefully Okaka will be scoring.

This match was a real potential banana skin and I'm just happy we didn't slip up on it.

"I wasn't wrong to suggest they would give us a good game.

"It was important to set our stall out and pressurise.

It worked well in the first half and gave us a two-goal cushion.

"It worked perfectly because we saw the game through and were able to rest players for the last 20 minutes with games on Thursday and Sunday coming up.

"It is nice to get four goals and be in the hat."

Fulham fans are already dreaming of a first return to Wembley since 1975 when Bobby Moore and Alan Mullery were part of the team beaten 2-0 by West Ham in the FA Cup final.

But cautious Hodgson said: "It's wrong to compare the mythical teams of the '60s and '70s or even the showbiz teams when Rodney Marsh, George Best and Moore were in the same team.

"We have to be more journeyman-like in our approach because staying in the league is so important.

"It's not a case of Marsh doing a few tricks or Best beating a man and having a rest for five minutes.

That's just not possible." What was possible was Fulham putting County - with all their baggage - to bed nice and early.

Davies squirmed home a shot from the edge of the box from a good Danny Murphy through ball to put Fulham one up after 22 minutes.

Zamora was alert enough to latch on to the end of a three-man move, also involving Nicky Shorey and Swede Elm for a great finish to make it 2-0 four minutes before half-time.

Duff's goal from a tight angle with 17 minutes left merely ended any lingering hopes of a County fightback.

And on-loan Italy Under-21 striker Okaka scored his first goal for the club on 79 minutes by wrong-footing Neal Bishop and rolling the ball home.

County's credit rating with the bank might be low but with neutrals their stock is still high, as they stuck to decent football principles and went close through Craig Westcarr and Ben Davies.

STAR MAN - SIMON DAVIES (Fulham)

FULHAM: Schwarzer 8, Baird 6, Hangeland 7, Hughes 7, Shorey 7, Duff 7 (Riise 6), Murphy 7 (Greening 6), Elm 6, Etuhu 7, Davies 8, Zamora 7 (Okaka 7).
Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Stoor, Smalling.

NOTTS COUNTY: Schmeichel 7, Thompson 6, Edwards 6, Hunt 6, Jackson 6, Westcarr 6 (Hawley 5), Bishop 6, Ravenhill 6, Clapham 6 (Rodgers 5), Davies 8, Hughes 6 (Hamshaw 3).
Subs not used: Hoult, Lee, Fairclough, Akinbiyi.

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