More evidence of a subtle shift in emphasis from Roy Hodgson – perhaps in response to Fulham’s fine showing in Europe on Thursday. The inference from these remarks is, whilst he’ll be trying to do his best in the league, we’ll no longer be treating the Europa League as a second priority. The chance of reaching Wembley in the FA Cup has him excited as well.
We’re trying to compete in every competition. The FA Cup is very special and that quarter-final will probably be the most important match we play in the coming weeks. But the game in Shakhtar is one we’ll definitely want to do well in.
We have another 12 games in the Premier League and we have to make sure we continue producing performances like we did in the first leg against Shakhtar. If we manage that then I’m confident we’ll get enough points to put us in a comfortable position.
If we manage to finish comfortably in the Premier League this year after doing so well in the FA Cup and Europe, I’ll compare this season with last season – even if we don’t finish so high in the league.
Hodgson’s team face Birmingham on Sunday at Craven Cottage and the manager admits he’s been delighted with the performances of his injury-hit side recently.
The way we’re balancing the competitions is exceeding my expectations. It’s exceeding what we’re entitled to ask of the players.
There were some very tired people on the pitch against Shakhtar. We’re doing that with a very small squad because of the injuries. Any credit and praise the players get during this period is well deserved.
Now it’s a question of recovery. This result has taken a lot out of us and comes at the price of fatigue, tired legs and minds. The next two days are about getting ready [for Birmingham] physically and mentally.