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Fulham boss Roy Hodgson says FA Cup a target

last updated Saturday 06th March 2010, 1:41 PM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has said that the FA Cup features prominently on Fulham's list of priorities.

The Cottagers have progressed through to the quarter-final stage of this season's competition, where they are set to face Tottenham Hotspur.

Dreams of a glorious day out at Wembley are now beginning to build on the banks of the Thames, with the club having been starved of success for far too long.

Hodgson admits he will be doing all he can to help Fulham end their barren run and insists he would never seek to undermine the FA Cup by fielding a weakened side.

"We don't take any competition lightly and we will be doing our best," he said.

"Of course, though, the answer to the obvious question: Would you rather be out of the Premier League and reach a final of a cup competition? - all of us would say no.

"Being in the Premier League and being in there year after year has to be the be all and end all for us and we couldn't sacrifice that for any competition.

"But we like to think that because we have good players, and at least at the start of the season we had a big squad, you like to believe that you can compete on all the fronts. Certainly the FA Cup and the Europa League are very high priorities as far as we are concerned."

Fulham have never landed a piece of major silverware, with an FA Cup final defeat to West Ham United in 1975 as close as they have ever come.

This could be the year that their prayers are finally answered, but Hodgson admits there is a long way to go before he can lay claim to being the first manager to guide the Cottagers to cup glory.

"It would be nice to do that, but it's a long way off," he said.

"We have to win a quarter-final, we would have to win a semi-final and then the final - that's three big games against three big teams.

"The dream is still alive because we are still in the competition. We have bought our lottery ticket, we are still in with a chance, but between buying a lottery ticket and winning the jackpot there is a long way to go."

Hodgson has spent a large part of his managerial career coaching abroad, but the FA Cup holds a special place in his heart.

He believes the competition will always retain its 'magic' in the eyes of supporters and feels a number of notable shocks this season prove his point.

"I think there always will be magic," he said.

"It's a knockout competition and we all know that it's all very well being drawn against teams in a league below you, but that isn't to say that you are going to waltz to victory.

"You still have to make sure that you are firing on all cylinders and that you don't make any mistakes and that you take the chances which come your way. "If that doesn't happen, we have never sheltered from the fact that you can slip to a surprise defeat at the hands of a side you are expected to beat."

Source Chris Burton at SkySports
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