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Fulham boss Hodgson not taking Burnley for granted

last updated Tuesday 09th February 2010, 1:04 PM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Roy Hodgson hopes it will not be a case of deja vu when Fulham host relegation battlers Burnley.

The Cottagers made hard work of seeing off the challenge of bottom club Portsmouth last week, when the visitors dominated for long spells before eventually being beaten by a late goal from Jonathan Greening.

Fulham had lost five successive Barclays Premier League games before the victory over Pompey, and picked up another point following a goalless draw at Bolton.

Hodgson, though, knows full well his team must not be complacent against the Clarets, despite their dreadful away record of 11 defeats and one draw.

"On paper, it looks just like the Portsmouth game - it is one which Fulham should comfortably win, but it certainly won't be like that," said Hodgson.

"If ever we needed a reminder, we only have to cast our minds back a week ago.

"Portsmouth came and played very well, and we were fortunate to get away with three points, and Portsmouth were unlucky to go away with nothing.

"That should be uppermost in our mind.

"We should be making sure we keep doing the things which have got us four points from the last two games."

Hodgson added: "We need to remain humble and modest, knowing full well we are not in the form we were in just before Christmas, which is understandable given the fact the team has changed so much.

"We have barely got 18 players. There is no longer a selection problem at this club, (the problem) is 'have we got 18 fit players to fit the 11 spots and fill the substitutes bench?'.

"Until we get back to a situation where the squad starts to resemble normal size with quality players back, it will be difficult for us.

"It is not easy to finish mid-table and we cannot ignore the fact that playing FA Cup matches and Europa League matches, when other sides are out, places a further burden on our resources, making the league match which follows much more difficult for us."

Striker Bobby Zamora has recovered from a virus and is expected to come back into the starting XI and midfielder Simon Davies is also fit again after overcoming an ankle problem.

However, South Africa international Kagisho Dikgacoi has been ruled out for up to six weeks because of ankle ligament damage suffered at Bolton.

With striker Andrew Johnson, recovering from knee surgery, out for the rest of the season, and Paul Konchesky, Clint Dempsey and John Pantsil all still sidelined, Hodgson admits his squad is at full stretch as he prepares for the weekend's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Notts County as well as the resumption of the European campaign.

"Bobby is fine and has recovered from his sickness, and will be back in contention, as is Simon Davies," said Hodgson.

"The game at Bolton was once again an expensive game for us, because we got a point, but have lost another player as Dikgacoi will be out for five to six weeks."

Source Jim van Wijk at PASport
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