Roy Hodgson reckons Fulham’s safe league position should allow his side to have a real go at taking on the defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League tomorrow night.
Hodgson had been treating Fulham’s European adventure with caution, rotating his small squad and prioritising the league in previous weeks, but with his team now safely in mid-table and inching closer to survival on 34 points, he has hinted at being a bit more adventurous in Europe. After a 3-0 win over Burnley in midweek and, with the club’s injury crisis finally showing signs of clearing up, Hodgson’s focus is firmly on trying to establish a lead ahead of a tough second leg.
We thought it was fantastic to be part of this competition. It’s a great adventure and is a feather in this club’s cap. It’s a good marketing tool to get our name and what we’re trying to do out to a much wider audience via a top-level competition.
We’ve taken all the games seriously but in the earlier stages when I had a bigger squad I changed things around and used the freshest legs. I’m pleased we’re on 34 points and within touching distance of the safety zone because it means we’re less anxious about the games that precede or follow European matches.