Roy Hodgson hailed Bobby Zamora’s brilliant strike that set Fulham on their way to victory over Bolton at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon.
The former West Ham forward showed great touch and finesse to control the ball, hold off Gavin McCann and turn Danny Shittu before firing an unstoppable strike past Jussi Jaaskelainen to give Fulham the cushion of a second goal before half time. Hodgson revealed that the squad had been working on these types of situations in training.
“Bobby has the ability to do things like that. He’s got good feet but sometimes he has to be careful not to overdo it,” he said. “It came off for him that time and we’ve been working hard on him releasing the ball a little bit quicker to fit in with our style. It didn’t surprise me that he pulled that goal off because we see it all the time in training. For a big man he has a lot of technical ability.”
The Fulham boss was also pleased with Andy Johnson’s debut after his big-money move from Everton.
“Johnson looked very hungry. The chairman has been anxious to see him after paying a lot of money for him. he chairman wanted to see what this product was that he’d bought. We had to calm both the chairman and Andy down because Andy will play through injuries. We wanted to be 100% certain he’d be okay to play and would be fit mechanically because thigh strains can be difficult.”
Hodgson was happy with the overall quality of Fulham’s football – even if a late strike from Kevin Davies set up a nervy finish.
“I’m pleased with the quality of football we produced for the first 80 minutes and the fact we dominated so totally during that time. Then we dealt quite well with the threat Bolton always pose with their playing style.
After conceding that rather unfortunate goal, which was more of a slump than clear goal chance, we showed the character to stand up to them. We knew then we would take a battering with balls being fired into our penalty area and I’m pleased we proved we can deal with that. We created a lot of chances and their keeper had to make at least five top-class saves.”