Roy Hodgson admitted he was happy to survive an Amkar Perm onslaught to reach the group stages of the Europa League but conceded that his Fulham side hadn’t played particularly well.
Fulham lost to an injury time goal from Martin Kushev in Perm today but went through 3-2 on aggregate.
I thought it was a very good game. I’m very happy that we went through. I thought Amkar played particularly well and made life difficult for us today – throughout the 90 minutes. The very late goal made the last five minutes of the game extra exciting.
Over the two legs Amkar have shown what a good team they are, we’ve had to work extremely hard for our aggregate victory. The games have been played very fairly and correctly – apart from the one unfortunate incident [Andrew Johnson’s injury]. The game today was played in very good spirit and there were very few fouls committed by either team.
I have great sympathy for my colleague [Amkar Manager Dimitar Dimitrov] and for all of the Amkar team because in the last part of the match at Craven Cottage and in the 90 minutes today, they’ve shown that they are a good quality team and they have stretched us to the limit in order to get our qualification.
I was concerned then because they had nothing to lose. I knew the ball would be in our penalty area at every opportunity. But I must say that we also spurned two or three very good chances to score.
I don’t think we played very well today, we didn’t pass the ball well or use it well when we got it. We were guilty of giving the ball away far too regularly. But we’re playing without six of our regular players and on an artificial surface, so I have to be kind to my players because it’s something that they’re not used to.