Europa League - Hodgson rewards faithful Fulham fans

Eurosport - Thu, 29 Apr 22:49:00 2010

Roy Hodgson was understandably delighted after his Fulham side came from behind to beat Hamburg 2-1 and qualify for the Europa League final.

2009-10 Premier League Fulham Roy Hodgson - 0

Goals from Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera overhauled Mladen Petric's early strike to put the Whites through after a goalless draw in the first leg.

Hodgson - who took over at Craven Cottage two and a half years ago with Fulham battling relegation - pointed to flamboyant Egyptian chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed for his support.

"The time at Fulham has been quite magical for me," the former Internazionale and Blackburn manager said afterwards.

"From the moment I came here I established an immediate rapport with the chairman and he's given us the backing we need."

Fulham have negotiated this season's Europa League campaign unbeaten at home, and Hodgson thanked the fans at Craven Cottage for their backing.

"It's certainly a reward for those very faithful Fulham fans who have seen some bad times through the years," he added.

"They can now boast they're going to see their team play in a European final."

Despite going behind, and remaining so until the 69th minute, Fulham never panicked and Hodgson credited his side's nerve under pressure.

"The players have kept calm all season and you could have forgiven them for not doing so in a semi-final.

"But to their credit they stuck to the task."


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