Europa League

Hangeland vows to give it his all

TEAMtalk Media Group, TEAMtalk Media Group
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Brede Hangeland insists Fulham will give everything to win the Europa League despite knowing victory could hasten the departure of Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson has been riding the crest of a wave since guiding Fulham into Wednesday night's final against Atletico Madrid at the Hamburg Arena.

The 62-year-old has worked miracles on a limited budget at Craven Cottage and has been linked with a move to Liverpool and the England job should Fabio Capello step down after the World Cup.

UEFA Europa League

Thu., Apr. 22
Atletico 1-0 Liverpool | Recap
Hamburg 0-0 Fulham | Recap
Thu., Apr. 29
Liverpool 2-1 (aet) Atletico | Recap
Fulham 2-1 Hamburg | Recap
Wed., May 12 - FINAL
Atletico 2-1 (aet) Fulham | Recap
Fulham are desperate to keep Hodgson but Europa League glory would only make him more desirable to suitors.

"I hope Roy will stay for a long time. He's a great manager and we all enjoy working with him," said Hangeland.

"I haven't thought about whether success could cost us our manager and that certainly won't stop us from trying our best."

Hodgson's two-and-a-half year reign at Craven Cottage has ushered in the most successful period in Fulham's 131-year history.

He rescued the club from relegation in 2008 and the following season oversaw their highest top-flight finish with seventh.

This term they have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals and will end the Barclays Premier League against Arsenal tomorrow entrenched in mid-table before descending on Hamburg.

"Roy's the main reason why we have come from battling relegation to playing in a European cup final," said Hangeland.

"It's bit of a fairytale for this club and I'd say it's mostly down to him. You could write a book about what makes him special.

"He works very well with the team, his organisation is good and he has brought in some big players.

"Not necessarily big-name players, but good players who have made us strong as a team and I'd say that's what describes us.

"I worked with Roy at Viking Stavanger and got to know him well. He was doing the same stuff then that he does now, which proves that he believes in his football philosophy.

"I have learnt a lot from him tactically and about how to be a professional.

"He does all the work himself and doesn't tell others to do it. All the players buy into what he does."

Fulham have defied all odds to dispatch heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg en route to the final.

Few gave them any hope of reaching the business end of the competition and Hangeland has revealed they only started believing the impossible themselves after beating Juventus in the last 16.

"There have been many highlights but probably the greatest achievement was when we drew at Shakhtar in the last 32 to go through," he said.

"They were a very good team - I think they were the best we've played.

"Hopefully we can top what we've achieved by winning the final.

"When we started we didn't even think about reaching the final.

"The Europa League was almost a distraction to the Premier League but the closer you get the more you think about it.

"When we beat Juventus we started thinking let's try and go all the way.

"It would be massive to win the final, though it's great to have got this far.

"If we win it's a bonus and while we'll try to do our best, it's important to enjoy it."

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