Roy Hodgson says he has no qualms about bringing back his first-choice players for Fulham’s game against Manchester United tomorrow.

The Cottagers boss rested Brede Hangeland, Clint Dempsey and Damien Duff for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Basel with the Craven Cottage meeting with the champions firmly on his mind. Hodgson won’t be following the same route as Micky McCarthy – criticised for resting 10 Wolves first-teamers at Old Trafford in midweek – though he understands the Wolves manager’s decision, especially as he made changes to his line-up at United last season.

I’ll be putting the team out that I think is the strongest and the best team. Of course I can understand his decision. He has obviously prioritised one game over another game.

Every manager has the right to do what he thinks is right for his team. I know Mick’s major concern, like that of ourselves, is ‘can I survive in this league?’ He made a decision, he’s stuck by it, and I believe they played okay up there.

He might gain from it in the longer run, just as we have. Playing in the Europa League competition, we’ve used five or six players who’ve not played regularly in the League. But they’ve shown they’re good enough and, as a result, we’ve gained in strength