Roy Hodgson refused to get carried away despite a narrow win over Stoke this afternoon that nudged Fulham ahead of West Ham in the race for a European place.
Erik Nevland’s assured finish just before the half hour was the only goal of a rather drab fixture and defeats for West Ham and Spurs meant that Fulham moved clear into seventh place.
Hodgson, however, is remaining characteristically cautious too.
It would be a great honour and a tribute to the work the players have put in this year if they could sneak this seventh place.
It would be very nice if we could keep in the top ten. We have been there for a long time now. Obviously the Europa League would be an incredible bonus and who says no to an incredible bonus.
We would be very happy to take it if it came our way, but I think we should keep our expectations really a little bit lower than that.
It’s been a fantastic season, the boys have done brilliantly well. The competition for that place is still very strong. We can’t rule out Manchester City, Tottenham, Wigan and West Ham. Any one of those four, plus ourselves, can take that seventh place and it will all depend on who can keep their season going to the death and get the right results.
Hodgson was delighted that the loss of both strikers before the break didn’t hamper Fulham’s attempts to find the net.
I was really delighted that we won it after losing our two front players as early as we did. We ended-up after 30 minutes with both our other two forwards on the pitch. It was great they got the chance to play and even better for Erik that he got a chance to make the goal chance and take it as well.
I actually thought we played very well for 60 minutes of the game. I thought we lost our way for a little bit in the last 30, but I suppose that happens to a certain extent when you are playing against a team like Stoke who everytime the ball goes out of play have got the ability to launch it into the penalty area. But we stood firm and I think we were good value for our victory.