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Fulham boss Roy Hodgson more than happy with The Cottagers

last updated Sunday 11th April 2010, 11:29 PM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was more than happy with the way his team battled to a richly-deserved point in their 0-0 draw at Liverpool.

The Cottagers were outplayed for the entire match and barely registered a chance of their own, yet they put in a superb defensive performance to frustrate Rafa Benitez's team.

Liverpool had looked like finally breaking through in the second-half, however Fulham defied the expected fatigue from Thursday's Europa League victory over Wolfsburg to hold firm and grind out a point.

Hodgson was forced into making changes prior to the trip to Merseyside as Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies sat out with injury, and he was delighted with the way his team adapted to the challenge posed by the Reds.

He said "I'm certainly delighted with a point and I am pleased with the performance, although it fell far short of what I think we're actually capable of doing.

"I think given the fact we've had the home matches against Wolfsburg, Wigan and then the away matches against Wolfsburg and now to Liverpool - those four matches in the space of eight or nine days is going to take its toll.

"Especially when you lose a couple of players of the quality of Gera and Davies and you put in players who haven't played for a long time.

"Erik Nevland and Jonathan Greening haven't actually played for several months now in the first team so to come in and have to give a performance at Anfield, it was a tough ask for them.

"But I was pretty pleased with the way we stood up and were counted. We were under a lot of pressure between long periods of the game but we managed to keep the shots coming from long distance.

"I think the team now has a good understanding tactically of what they need to do to be a good team defensively."

Fulham have a notoriously poor record on the road, winning just once away all season, but their performance at Anfield ensured they capped off a memorable week.

They returned from Germany with a 1-0 win to secure a semi-final berth in the Europa League, as did Liverpool, although it was Fulham that looked the better of the two silverware hopefuls.

Liverpool were without Fernando Torres and struggled to find a way past the stout visiting backline, who were marshalled superbly by Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes.

And Hodgson praised the way his team stood up to the onslaught given the quality he felt Benitez's side possessed in their ranks.

He added: "You're certainly tested to the limit when you play teams of Liverpool's quality because they're not only good tactically, they're very, very good individually and technically.

"Even when you've got your tactics and the shape of your team right it doesn't guarantee you winning the ball back because they've got so much skill they can deal with that and ask other questions of you.

"They asked a lot of questions of us but I've got to say I thought the team worked harder and stood up and we've got to be proud. We still realise we are who we are but also realise they're aren't many teams that come to Anfield and get results.

"We've done it, even though we've had to sweat a bit of blood to get there, and we've got to be pretty happy with that."

Source Danny Wright at SkySports
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