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Hodgson makes FA Cup 2nd priority

last updated Friday 04th January 2008, 1:31 PM
Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson admits Premier League survival has to be his priority ahead of his side's cup clash with Bristol Rovers.

Hodgson has inherited a Fulham side second-from-bottom of the league with just 15 points from 21 matches and facing an almighty scrap to avoid the "horror" of relegation.

Just five points separate six teams in the congested lower reaches of the table.

The well-travelled Hodgson is relishing a return to hands-on coaching - the players were put through a double training session yesterday - and he insists Fulham can escape the drop.

"It's a massive job but the fact is I wouldn't have taken on the job if I didn't think I had the ability and the confidence to do it," said Hodgson.

"We fully understand that our most important task in the next four months is to try and maintain our Premier League status.

"I view with horror the scenario where we don't succeed and keep the club in the Premier League but at the moment I have no reason to fear that."

Bristol Rovers captain Stuart Campbell will miss the clash at Craven Cottage through suspension.

The midfielder collected his fifth yellow card of the season during Rovers' 1-1 home draw against Luton on Boxing Day and must serve a one-match ban.

First-team coach Paul Trollope said: "I am very disappointed for him and I feel for him that he has to miss this particular game.

"He has been excellent for us again so far this season and it is not nice that he has to sit it out when we have the chance to test ourselves against Premier League opposition."

Striker Sean Rigg is not expected to recover from a hamstring injury in time and he is set to remain sidelined along with defensive duo Byron Anthony (foot) and Ryan Green (jaw).

Source Sporting Life
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