Roy Hodgson says Fulham’s amazing comeback against Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday has led to a reordering of his priorities for the remainder of the season.
Hodgson began the season with the objective of retaining Fulham’s Premier League status and used the European games to rotate his squad, giving some of his new additions and fringe players an opportunity to shine. Now that Fulham’s progress in the Europa League and FA Cup has taken them into the last eight of both competitions, he has admitted that he’ll be shifting his focus to prolonging those Cup runs.
I don’t think we’ll go down this year. Maybe we’re a few points short but I’m pretty confident that we will do it, so there’s no doubt that the two cup competitions will now take priority, particularly the one on Wednesday, but that might be a competition that come Thursday we won’t have to worry about because that game at Tottenham is by no means a given.
But he insists there will be no danger of any of his players not being fully focused on Manchester City tomorrow afternoon.
I think in the Premier League, with the quality of the opposition, the interest in the game, the full stadiums of people, the cheering, the intensity and the speed of the game, I think it will be very difficult for a serious professional footballer not to be up for games.
I haven’t thought that much about who they have lost and who they have beat but it’s comforting to think that they have lost against some of the so-called ‘lesser teams’. They do have a lot of good players though and they have obviously spent a lot of money on a team that is capable of winning the Premier League just as Chelsea did a few years before them, and I’m certain that they will be very disappointed if they don’t get into the top four.