Hodgson: We’re coping with season

Although the Cottagers were beaten at Manchester United on Sunday,

they remain in the top half of the table, comfortably clear of any

relegation worries. They also have an FA Cup sixth round replay

with Tottenham to come and, more imminently, Thursday’s

eagerly-anticipated Europa League clash with Juventus. It is

precisely the kind of fixture congestion Hodgson feared 12 months

ago, when his side were moving into contention for European

qualification. Hodgson worried about the problems all summer. And

while he never felt entirely comfortable, Hodgson is delighted at

the way his team have performed. “We have coped with this season

better than anyone could have expected us to do, especially given

the amount of players we have lost to injury. “We have done

remarkably well to keep going as we have done. “It is going to be

very important for us to get through this period but once we get

past Tottenham, things will start to settle down to a somewhat more

normal programme.” That does not take into account that if Fulham

progress in the cup competitions, they will have even more games to

play. However, while there is no sense of defeatism from Hodgson,

he does hope should his side eventually fall, there will be no

major hangover. “My concern is that, having done so well, it will

impact upon us if we go out of any of the competitions,” he said.

“It is very important that doesn’t happen and we don’t allow our

season, which has been quite fantastic, just to slip away.” Fulham

are still waiting for an update on the condition of key central

defender Brede Hangeland, who was forced out of Sunday’s game after

failing to shake off what appeared to be a chest injury following

an aerial collision with Antonio Valencia.