Roy Hodgson was impressed with Middlesbrough’s spirit and performance in their draw with his Fulham side today and reckons that Boro can still secure their Premier League survival.
He offered some encouragement to beleaguered Boro boss Gareth Southgate.
We had nothing like 31 points at this stage last season – we finished with 36 and we took 12 out of the last 15. At this time, we were somewhere in the mid-20s with five games to go.
If he wants to take any encouragement from that, Gareth, he is very welcome to do so, but I certainly thought that on the side’s performance today, that didn’t look to me like a relegation team.
It looked like a team that’s got the wherewithal to get the necessary points to stay in the league. But it will be tough. I am afraid that the battle that we have witnessed today and Fulham have taken part in, there will be five more of those battles to come, and he might have to do it against teams in the top four as well, so it won’t be an easy task.
Hodgson again denied that he has set his side a target of qualifying for European football.
I have said many times UEFA (Cup) has never been an actual target for us. But of course, if we continue to play well, maybe things will fall into place and maybe we will get a European spot. If we do, we will be very grateful and we will do our best to represent England in the right way.