0 users online

Roy of the Fulham sees hard game against Toffee Men

last updated Saturday 23rd May 2009, 10:26 AM

 Fulham boss Roy Hodgson
Fulham boss
Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is expecting a tough test against Everton on Sunday as the Cottagers look for the victory that would secure seventh place in the Barclays Premier League and European football.

While the Toffees could have one eye on next Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea, Hodgson is certainly not banking on it.

Fulham go into the match two points ahead of Tottenham in the race for seventh place and a Europa League spot, with Spurs needing a win against Liverpool at Anfield to have any chance of overhauling them.

Hodgson said: "We've got a very tough game ahead of us against Everton. They are an excellent team and very hard to beat.

"What I am sure of is we will give it our best shot and I'm rather hoping that we will get a helping hand along the way from Liverpool and that they won't succumb to Tottenham at Anfield.

"We've got two points and goal difference in our favour so we go into the last game in a favourable position.

"(Spurs manager) Harry (Redknapp) and his Tottenham team have got it all to do because anything other than a win at Anfield won't be sufficient for them while we know we could even succeed by failing.

"But our goal will be to play well at home, get a good result against Everton and not to have to concern ourselves with what Tottenham are doing at Liverpool.

"It's dangerous to expect things of other people. I'm a great believer you trust yourself and what you can do and not put too much trust in what other people can do to help you."

The one thing Hodgson does not expect is that fifth-placed Everton will be distracted by the prospect of the cup final.

"I suppose you can hope that but I don't expect it," added Hodgson, who, whatever the outcome, has already achieved Fulham's best-ever finish in the top flight.

"(Manager) David Moyes has done an excellent job all season, preparing his team more than thoroughly for every game so far.

"I think it would be Utopia for me to start believing that all of a sudden in the 38th game they are going to prepare badly and not be anything like the Everton team they've been all season."

Describing a place in the Europa League as "a glittering prize at the end of a very good season," he said: "Whatever happens, whether we are in Europe or not, we've achieved a record here with a best-ever finish and the highest number of points the club's taken so already we could congratulate ourselves if we wanted to."

It has been a remarkable transformation in the 12 months since the Fulham boss took his side to Portsmouth - also FA Cup finalists a week later - to grab the victory that clinched a dramatic last-ditch escape from relegation.

Hodgson said: "Last year, from March onwards, when we got ourselves together, we put together a good end of the season and won some matches and extricated ourselves from an impossible situation and I was more than confident that the team would kick on from there and that we would do better this year.

"A good season at Fulham is when you are not listening every week to experts saying 'Fulham are going to go down, they're doomed, Fulham are in deep, deep trouble'. A season when that's not been mentioned is a good season for us."

Handing the credit for the improvement to his players and staff, he added: "We've exceeded expectation.

"Whatever happens, when I go on holiday this year, I'll go knowing we have maximised our possibilities at this club.

"We've had the very, very best season we could possibly have had and we'll enjoy that but it won't help us on July 1 when we're preparing for the next campaign and hoping we can stay in the Premier League once again."

Source Sporting Life
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"