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Hodgson's ahead of game says Brede

Brede Hangeland feels Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is always one step ahead of the game.

The 28-year-old Norway centre-back was brought to Craven Cottage by Hodgson during January 2008, having worked together at FK Viking, as the former Switzerland, Blackburn and Inter Milan coach went about rebuilding his team.

The transformation at the London club under Hodgson has been nothing short of astonishing.

He came in to save Fulham from what seemed certain relegation when appointed successor to Lawrie Sanchez in late December 2007, before leading the club to its highest finish of seventh and, with it, what has turned out to be a memorable European campaign which included a famous win over Italian giants Juventus before Thursday night's battling victory against Hamburg to reach the Europa League final.

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson believes the 62-year-old is a certainty to be named manager of the year, while Sven-Goran Eriksson reckons Hodgson would be an ideal candidate to one day take over the national team.

Hangeland believes it is Hodgson's continued forward thinking which has helped bring his team so much success.

"He has got the same philosophy now that he had at Viking which proves he believes in the system and the work he does," Hangeland said.

"He organises the team really well and gets the best out of his players.As far as coaches and managers I have worked with in football, he is by far the most experienced. You know that he has been in the game for so long and, when he has something to say, you had better listen because it is always something sensible."

Hangeland added: "When we score he is already one step ahead and thinking about the next attack or the final 15, 20 minutes. That is probably why he gets good results."