Roy Hodgson has described Fulham’s mounting injury crisis as the worst he’s known in his managerial career.
Midfielder Zoltan Gera is the latest to go down injured, having picked up a knee injury in training, leaving Hodgson’s plans for tomorrow night’s game against Portsmouth in need of a rethink. Fulham are now missing six first team players, although Hodgson is trying to be upbeat, having brought in Stefano Okaka and Nicky Shorey on loan.
The injury front is very bad. As bad as I have ever experienced in football.
I’ve got six of our first team out injured and one [Dickson Etuhu] who has not returned yet from the African Nations Cup. To lose seven players from the team which played last year is always going to take some time dealing with.
Fortunately, we have had some players come in on loan – Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka – which has allowed me to plug some gaps. But I am very disappointed. Simon Davies, who I hoped would recover for the game and Zoltan Gera has hurt himself in training. To lose a further two in our current situation – it seems we are now paying for the really good form we had last season with injuries.
Hodgson has urged his players to produce a strong performance against Portsmouth to end a worrying run of five consecutive league losses.
We have to stop the rot by winning but we know it will not be easy. Portsmouth are a better team than their league position shows and we saw that when they played Manchester City on Sunday.
You don’t stop the rot by talking about it, you do it by playing and winning. We need that win.
We have not been playing that badly, but we have made mistakes and we have been punished by those mistakes and at the other end we have not scored enough goals. That is what we have been guilty of, because in terms of football play over the 90 minutes, we have not been that bad at all.
The morale and spirit is good but confidence takes a hit when you are not winning. We have to accept that situation because we want to win and we need to win.