Roy Hodgson has admitted he may target an FA Cup run after his Fulham side came through a potential banana skin against Swindon on Saturday.
The Fulham manager was without the injured John Pantsil and Chris Baird and made several other changes as the Craven Cottage side beat their League One opponents thanks to Bobby Zamora’s eleventh goal of the season. Hodgson says his selection was dictated by a tough Christmas programme and the prospect of a tough trip to Stoke tomorrow, considerations which will not be a problem when he selects his team to go to Accrington or Gillingham in round four on 23 January.
Who knows, we might go full tilt now. The next time we play, we will not be coming out of a difficult Christmas programme. We’ve played two tough matches gainst top teams in three days.
I wouldn’t like to say what will happen in the fourth round. We’ll take what we are given. But we’re pleased to be in the round.
Next time, we might have a week to prepare, and might decide to do something different in the next round. We’ll keep our options open. I take the FA Cup seriously.
I put a team out I thought would be up for the challenge, determined to take the chance they’ve been given to play and win the match. They’ve done that, and I can’t ask for more. We look at our squad and try to decide what is going to work best for us.
It could be that four or five players who play on a regular basis didn’t play in the game, and four out of 11 is a large level. I suppose it could be leveled that we weakened our team.
Me and my colleagues put players in who we believe are good Premier League players. We can’t be accused of fielding weakened teams. We are using our squad to the best of our ability. When a player is called upon, they must be ready, and they can’t do that without playing.
It was job done against a very difficult team, who were every bit as difficult as we thought they would be. I can’t give enough credit to Swindon. They made it very difficult for us and I’m very happy that we won the game and are in the next round.