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Fulham FC boss Roy Hodgson worries about Zamora

last updated Thursday 29th April 2010, 11:20 AM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Fulham FC manager Roy Hodgson feels Bobby Zamora is as important to Fulham as Wayne Rooney is to Manchester United.

The Cottagers have often looked to their talismanic frontman to lead by example this season, and he has not disappointed.

A 19-goal return has helped to fire Zamora into England reckoning and made him the heartbeat of Hodgson's attacking unit.

He could, however, be forced to sit out Fulham's biggest game of the season so far - Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg.

Hodgson insists he will not gamble on Zamora's fitness, as he nurses an Achilles problem, but admits the 29-year-old will be a big miss should he fail to shake off the knock in time to feature at Craven Cottage.

"When Wayne Rooney doesn't play for Manchester United, when Steven Gerrard doesn't play for Liverpool, Didier Drogba doesn't play for Chelsea, or when Robin van Persie is out for a long time at the Arsenal, all the headlines are about these people - and those clubs have got riches galore if you compare to us," Hodgson said.

"I can't say that it doesn't matter, that players of Zamora's quality and his importance to the team this year, don't matter, because that would be under-valuing the contributions he has made, which have been a fantastic contribution.

"If this does not work out, he certainly will be absolutely devastated, to have been a major influence in us getting so far, and then not be able to take part in the final stage."

Hodgson added: "We will be happy if Bobby can play, but if he can't we will accept that as part and parcel of football, injuries occur.

"We know we have other players in the team who can keep our play going as we saw at Everton on Sunday."

Hodgson has revealed that Zamora may eventually require surgery in an effort to rid himself of the niggling problem, with Fulham keen to have the issue resolved before the 2010/11 campaign gets underway.

"I would think if it does not clear up in the coming days, then the chances are we would choose to have a minor operation to clear up the area, around the tendon, which would help him next season," said the Fulham boss.

"It will clear up anyway, when you are not out running every day, things do get better - but unless you get to the root of the problem, there is always the risk that, when you start again, sooner or later, the problem is going to make itself known."

Source Chris Burton at SkySports
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