Roy Hodgson will seek out the referee before Fulham’s clash with Birmingham to speak to him about a tactic that he deems to be illegal.
Blues have blocked the opposition keeper’s vision at free-kicks by stationing defender Radhi Jaidi behind the wall, a ploy that led to a goal for Sebastian Larsson against Liverpool last weekend.
Hodgson has warned Birmingham that he will make referee Chris Foy aware of the strategy in an effort to ensure it is stamped out.
“To me, like everybody else, it’s clearly offside,” said the Fulham boss.
“They’re seeking to gain an advantage, which standing in the goalkeeper’s line of sight at a free-kick so obviously is.
“I thought not gaining an advantage meant you literally had nothing to do with play.
“I understand the rule is open to interpretation but when you position someone deliberately five or six yards behind the wall to block the keeper’s vision it’s attempting to interfere with play.
“I will have to speak to the referee before the game to ascertain his views on the subject.
“I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of a debate on this subject because I just can’t see for the life of my how it can be justified.
“If this tactic is going to be allowed then I fear we’ll see some very strange things happening in the future. You could get teams lining up 10 players on the edge of the six-yard box and then all of them ducking when the shot comes in.”
Victory for Fulham would give them a good chance of avoiding the drop and Hodgson has revealed that chairman Mohamed Al Fayed will deliver the pre-match team-talk.
He said: “With his style his presence before kick-off will possibly be more inspirational than had he visited the training ground during the week.
“The players have reacted positively to him in the past. He’s been down to the training ground a couple of times recently and was really well received.”
Fulham have won two of their last three games to pull them back into contention but Hodgson accepts that it will still be difficult to secure survival.
“Now we have a small chance of escaping relegation, but any chance is nice to have at this stage,” he said.
“We know we have to beat Birmingham and Portsmouth to be in with a shout of staying up, but even then fate could deny us on goal difference.
“I expect it to be very tense and nervy tomorrow, but we’re a better team now than we were a month ago.
“Often this type of game is decided by a single shot or twist of fate and you always fear the extraordinary could go against you.”