Fulham manager Roy Hodgson insists he has done everything within his power to halt Fulham’s seemingly inevitable slide in to the Championship — but conceded some of his players cannot say the same.
Fulham’s seven-year stay in the top flight will come to an end today if they fail to win at Manchester City, and Reading and Bolton take three points each against Wigan and Tottenham respectively.
Fulham have registered three wins in 15 games since Hodgson replaced Lawrie Sanchez in December, and the former Blackburn and Inter Milan manager is adamant no one could have done a better job.
He said: “When the season ends, whatever happens I will look in the mirror and say: ‘Did you work hard enough?’ The answer is Yes. ‘Did you coach hard enough?’ The answer is Yes.
“I’ve been here four months and I don’t think the team have done that badly. We’ve worked quite hard, we’ve had bad luck and we haven’t had the rub of the green.
“If things are degenerating, it goes wrong over a period of time and sometimes it’s not easy to turn the tide. If we can survive this year, next year we will definitely be stronger.”
Survival or, most likely, not, Hodgson will have no time for those who have not shown the stomach for a fight when the clear-out begins.
Although he would not name names, those likely to be shown the door include Diomansy Kamara, Chris Baird, David Healy and Seol Ki-Hyeon who were all signed by Sanchez.
“There are those who beat themselves up about bad performances and lose sleep and worry about it,” said Hodgson. “And there are others who have different characters who shrug those things off.
“In the ideal club you make sure you get yourself surrounded by characters who take the game as seriously as you do and are upset as you are and as self-critical as you. There will be plenty of those making their judgments . . . but I’ve made mine.”