Hodgson vows to stand his ground over Hammers' league claim
FULHAM manager Roy Hodgson is adamant he has no case to answer after fielding a weakened team against Hull City last weekend in preparation for tonight's Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg.
Struggling West Ham are reportedly ready to make a complaint to the Premier League after seeing Hull, one of their rivals in the battle to survive relegation, beat an understrength Fulham team 2-0 last Saturday, to boost their prospects of staying in the Premier League. The result left West Ham in 18th place, above Hull on goal difference.
Hodgson, mindful of the impending match against the German champions, rested Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Aaron Hughes, Dickson Etuhu and Damien Duff at the KC Stadium.
But the Fulham manager, who revealed striker Zamora had to be sent home from training on the eve of the game after suffering from a cold, insists he would fight his corner if West Ham complained.
"We have no case to answer, I am perfectly happy with the team selection," Hodgson said. "I'm planning for Zamora to play against Wolfsburg. We'll play our best team, so it would be a great disappointment if he's not able to play. We haven't prioritised, but in one particular game, after we played Juventus, Manchester City and Tottenham and prior to playing Wolfsburg on the Thursday, I made the decision to rest four or five players knowing I had the right to do that with the quality I have at my disposal. It meant those players did not play five games in 12 days, when they have been playing five games in 12 days the rest of the time. It's never happened in my life before, I've never had a series of three months where we played every three days for three months."
Hodgson will hope Zamora is fit having seen him torment Juventus in the round of 16. Zamora scored Fulham's first in that stunning 4-1 victory at Craven Cottage and with England strikers Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney currently battling back from injuries, Fulham midfielder Simon Davies believes his team-mate deserves a chance in Fabio Capello's squad. "When he pulls his game together, he's almost unplayable," Davies said.
Fulham v VfL Wolfsburg,
Live Setanta Ireland/ESPN, 8.05