Some people were suggestions that Roy Hodgson’s post-match words to Sky – where he said he ‘wouldn’t be averse’ to signing a new contract – weren’t exactly fully committed. It’s also said that Hodgson often only stays in a job for a couple of years, so his admission that there’s ‘an awful long way to go’ at Fulham hints at this being one of his more long-term projects.
That’s beyond pleasing. Hodgson’s arguably one of the best managers we’ve had at Fulham. The sheer hopelessness of the situation he inherited from Lawrie Sanchez made staying up a real achievement. Like another manager from our recent past – Micky Adams – Hodgson wasn’t content with simple safety. Bringing European football to the Cottage might not have been on anyone’s radar but it made those who wrote off Hodgson after he was sacked by Blackburn reconsider their judgement. If the club can tie Roy to a long-term deal, it will be one of the best signings Fulham have made in many years.
The fact that Hodgson remains so grounded means none of his players will be close to getting carried away.
There’s no doubt we have done well. The team have come on an awful long way in the past two years but we’ve got an awful long way to go. The thing about playing at this very high level of football is that you are constantly running just to stand still.
The moment you relax and take your foot off the pedal, it’s amazing how quickly teams fly past you. So there’s no complacency on our part. Wigan was a good example. Last week, against Liverpool, was a tough game. Wigan was another tough game. That’s the way this league is.
There was criticism for John Pantsil, generally outstanding since he joined from West Ham, but anyone who saw Hodgson’s reaction to the right back’s poor defending on MOTD2 will how known what was coming.
Pantsil sprayed the ball out of play when really he had no one near him. He could have dealt with the situation much more easily.
From that corner we didn’t get our marking right at the back post and Paul Scharner, who is really good in the air, pulled away and won the header. Boyce was well placed to knock it in.
You suspect there might be a few more sessions on defensive shape when the players gather together again at Motspur Park.