Hodgson welcomes Fulham pressure
Fulham exceeded all expectations in 2009, securing seventh spot in the Premier League and a place in the Europa League. They remain on course to emulate that achievement this term, while they have also slipped quietly into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and reached the last 32 in continental competition. Such success has helped to raise the bar at Craven Cottage, with supporters now expectant rather than hopeful. Hodgson, though, has welcomed the pressure placed on his shoulders and hopes he can continue to appease the fans for the foreseeable future. "Expectations mean you are having success, when there is no expectation that means no-one believes in you or believes you are capable of doing something," he told skysports.com. "I'm not sure that people expecting from you is a negative thing. Obviously one hopes expectations are tempered by the reality of situations and people regard each situation on its merit." Hodgson admits the outlook appears bright for Fulham pushing forward but is keen to avoid slipping into the trap of demanding too much from his players. "I suppose a good season for us would be if we can maintain our mid-table position and if we can give a good account of ourselves in the coming match against Shakhtar (Donetsk) and then have a bit of luck in the quarter-final (of the FA Cup) against either Tottenham or Bolton," he said. "We have got a lot to play for and some exciting times ahead but maintaining the status quo of what we have done so far would certainly mean, from my point of view, that we have had a good season, considering that recently we have had to deal with a number of injuries to key players. "We are still being hampered by that and all managers will tell you that losing three or four of your senior first-team players and your better first-team players is not easy to deal with." Hodgson has experienced many highs and lows over the course of his distinguished career, but admits his feats at Fulham rank alongside anything he has achieved in the game. He said: "It's been very good. I am very happy here and I have been very satisfied with the job and the relative success we have had. "In terms of my CV, I would regard the work here and the success here to be on a par with a lot of the successes in the past."