Hodgson hits out at Hammers

BY foxsports • April 2, 2010

Goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff put Fulham in with a good chance of making the final four of the competition although they may live to rue Alexander Madlung's late away goal for the German champions. Hodgson went into the match with the news that West Ham will make a complaint to the Premier League about his decision to field a weakened side against Hull on Saturday. Hodgson chose to rest five key players for Thursday night's match in the 2-1 defeat, which allowed Hull to draw level on points with Gianfranco Zola. Hammers co-owner David Sullivan believes Fulham should be given a similar punishment to the £25,000 fine issued to Wolves manager Mick McCarthy for fielding a weakened side against Manchester United. Hodgson is adamant he did nothing wrong and criticised the relegation-threatened club for accusing Fulham of foul play. "Firstly I don't thing West Ham should be picking our team and I think that is a fairly obvious statement," said Hodgson. "If there is a complaint, my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and we don't have a case to answer. "If I had said we chose a team comprising a player just sold £10m and a player replaced with a South African international, and replacing Bobby Zamora with Clint Dempsey, a USA international, I can't understand why you can't changes things." Hodgson insists his side are still well placed to reach the semi finals of the competition despite the late goal from Madlung. Alexander Madlung snatched a last-minute header for the German champions after the west London side had stormed into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff. Medlung's header, which came as a result of poor marking from a corner, gave Wolfsburg a route back into the tie but Hodgson still fancies his side's chances of progressing to the semi-finals. "I don't know if we are favourites; we relinquished the chance to be favourites at 2-1," said the 62-year-old. "We go there with the lead and we need a draw or a victory. And we did enough to show we can cause them plenty of problems when we attack. "I thought we played very well and were close, at the end of the game, to a famous 2-0 victory. "The late goal, I suppose to some extent, has put a slight dampener on the performance but it shouldn't really because if before you offered me a victory in the game and to play well I would have accepted any score so I am not going to allow a last minute goal to dampen my enthusiasm for the game, and my belief in the players and the desire to work hard and deny the German champions." Zamora won his battle with illness to make the Cottagers' starting XI and opened the scoring with a well-taken finish in the second half before setting up Duff for Fulham's second. The former Spurs hitman has scored 18 goals now this season, including strikes against Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Basle in Europe. Hodgson admits the striker has significantly improved his game since last season, when he found the net only four times. "The thing with Bobby now is that he is not just scoring goals against anyone, he is doing it against international class opponents," said Hodgson. "Wolfsburg were worthy champions last year and after a dodgy start they have lost once in eight after knocking Villarreal out of the Europa League. "Before that they'd gone seven unbeaten they are on a very good run and for Bobby to play well in the Europa League against teams of the character of Roma, Juventus, Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk and now Wolfsburg, it would be unfair for people to say he only does it in the Premier League."

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