Roy Hodgson insists he was right to rest players for Fulham’s game at Hull this afternoon, even though his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the KC Stadium.
The Fulham manager was angry at suggestions he might have infuriated other managers as the Premier League strugglers grabbed a valuable three points, saying he believed the side he put out were able to win at Hull, even if he had an eye on Thursday’s Europa League quarter final first leg at Wolfsburg.
I had confidence in the players I put in the team, players like Dikgacoi and Dempsey needed more football. They got injured in January.
He was forthright in dismissing concerns that under-pressure managers like West Ham’s Gianfranco Zola would have been dismayed by his selection.
No, I don’t think so. I think what most managers should be saying is how well we have done to keep playing the same players week after week.
We played seven matches in 21 days in February. We have played eight in 24 days in March and we have got another seven or eight in 26 days in April. I do not think it is fair for anybody to suggest that we can do that with 11 players.
I think that the players who have come into the team, Dempsey for Zamora, Dikgacoi for Murphy and Smalling for Hughes, I think I am entitled to say that those players are more than capable of playing at this level. I do not think that we have done anything that anyone could expect us to do otherwise.
Hodgson said he understood why Jimmy Bullard, who set Hull on the way to victory with a first-half penalty, was booed by the travelling fans.
They weren’t very happy when he refused to sign a new contract with Fulham and went to Hull for an awful lot more money. So I don’t think I can really criticise them for that. He knew what he was doing, he wanted the contract that was on offer here. He was not prepared to accept the contract offer that we were prepared to offer.