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West Ham consider reporting Fulham to FA

last updated Tuesday 30th March 2010, 12:35 PM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Relegation-threatened West Ham United are considering lodging a complaint against Fulham for resting some of their best players at Hull City to prepare for their historic Europa League quarter-final with Wolfsburg on Thursday.

The Cottagers left top-scorer Bobby Zamora, captain Danny Murphy and Ireland international Damien Duff out of the matchday squad for the defeat at Hull, a result which put greater pressure on the Hammers' relegation plight.

West Ham have now examined the regulations as they contemplate an official complaint against their fellow London club. The Hammers have estimated it will cost them in excess of £40 million in the first year alone if they go down.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson, who has been touted for Manager of the Year and as an English candidate to succeed Fabio Capello, made six changes from the starting team which went out of the FA Cup to Tottenham the previous week and clearly had an eye on the big prize in Europe.

Fielding a weakened side allowed the Tigers to complete a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium on Saturday, with goals from Jimmy Bullard and Craig Fagan. Hodgson was unrepentant in making the decision with the Cottagers comfortably placed in 11th position in the league and with a vital Europa League clash against Wolfsburg five days later as the only prize left for Fulham to mark such a wonderful season.

"If you win the game making changes then you congratulate yourself on the squad system," Hodgson told Fulham's official website. "If the team that gets a chance doesn't win the game then of course people say, 'had the other players played they'd have won'.

"We played seven matches in 27 days in February. We played eight in 24 days in March and we've got another seven or eight in 25 or 26 days in April. I don't think it's fair for anyone to suggest that we can do that with 11 players."

Formidable at Craven Cottage, the manager can argue that Fulham have been generally woeful on the road this season with just one win and a pitiful 11 goals scored. Having secured their Premier League survival and knocked out Juventus in the Europa League already, Hodgson has made no secret of the fact that he was concentrating on Thursday's tie.

A West Ham insider told Soccernet: "We are checking the rules. Roy Hodgson said on Match of the Day he rested players as they had a lot of games coming up starting with Wolfsburg this week. Hull got very lucky with Fulham fielding a very weak side as they play Wolfsburg on Thursday.

"Let's hope they beat Wolfsburg and stay in the competition and do the same for us when we play them."

Source Soccernet
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