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Roy of the Fulham disappointed with F.A.

last updated Monday 23rd February 2009, 3:42 PM

Premiership Fulham boss Roy Hodgson
Fulham boss
Roy Hodgson

The Fulham manager, Roy Hodgson, has expressed his disappointment at having to play an FA Cup replay against Swansea tomorrow night, two days after a tough match against West Bromwich Albion. Fulham beat West Bromwich 2–0 to go eighth in the Premier League .

Hodgson said: "I don't want to make any more fuss of it than I'm making by saying one day's preparation is not enough. All I'm doing is stating an obvious fact: there's nobody in football that thinks it's a good idea to play Premier League matches on a Sunday and then two days later the fifth round of the FA Cup. But we've got to do it so we'll get on with it.

"We have a high-energy game. We ask a lot of our players. So with only one day's rest it's going to be very hard for those players to come and give that level of performance again."

Hodgson said efforts had been made by Fulham to have the Swansea game moved, but to no avail. "[Club secretary] Darren Preston and [chief executive] Alistair Mackintosh worked their socks off and tried every avenue to get the game changed so that we could have a better preparation time," he said, "but unfortunately they were unable to succeed."

Asked what shape his players were in after the Albion match, Hodgson said: ""We'll see tomorrow, it's as simple as that. I'm not anxious to make big changes, it's not something I'm anxious to do but it might be forced upon me because I want to put out a team that can run around for 90 minutes and work hard. But I also want to put a team out on Saturday against Arsenal that can run around and work hard.

"What I don't want to do is lose players for a longer period of time because I'm forcing them to do things they can't do. So the assessment we make of players is going to be very, very important and Mark Taylor and his sports science people have a very big role to play."

The winners of the Cup replay will host Manchester United, the Premier League leaders, in the sixth round. Hodgson said: "As I say, I would have liked to have a bit more preparation time but that doesn't alter the fact that the incentive is there and we'll do the best job we can.

"But I can't sit here now and say we will do this, the team will have recovered and we will play as well as we did today because I don't know if that's possible. Our game is a physical game. I think to be honest all Premier League game are high-level, physically intense games and it's hard to recover afterwards."

Asked which side he thought Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, would prefer to face, Hodgson said: "I wouldn't have thought he'd be losing too much sleep over either of us."

Hodgson indicated that he wanted his men, tired as they were, to work harder than they had done in their 1–1 draw with Swansea in the first FA Cup match, at the Liberty Stadium.

"I don't think we pressured them as well as we should have done," he said. "We sat off them a little bit. But they're a very good footballing team and fully deserved to get a replay and many people argue they should have gone through the first time."

Hodgson also praised his left-back, Paul Konchesky. "Paul is having a good season," he said. "He's been giving one solid performance after another. I know England is quite well off with left-backs but I would like to think Paul would at least have got his name in [the England manager Fabio Capello's] notebook."

Source Paul Doyle at The Guardian
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