Writer: Site Staff
Date:Saturday April 11 2009
The UEFA Europa League next season is a real possibility for Fulham next season, but this isn't something that Roy Hodgson is thinking about that much really as simply finishing the season strongly is his main objective.
What a turnaround it has been for Fulham, 12-months ago it took a final game of the season win over Portsmouth to maintain Premier League status but this season Hodgson has guided the club to the brink of a European place next season.
Safety is all but confirmed, but whilst some are really starting to look towards this European qualification Hodgson just wants the club to finish the season strongly: 'My major concern now, having reached a position of relative safety, is that we keep the levels of performance up in the last seven games to give us the position in the table that we would like.
'All season we have been very cautious, we've said all along that our major concern is safety.
'But I think now we have reached 40 points at this stage of the season we can forget about relegation.
'There are seven games left which is about 20 per cent of the season and we want to make the last 20% of the season as good as the first 80 per cent.
'We want to make certain that we finish well and not leave a bad taste in our mouths by not keeping up that level of performance and allowing ourselves to relax.'
If by finishing the season strongly this brings a European place everyone connected to Fulham will be delighted, but it would be easy for the foot to be taken off the gas now and relax because the ultimate ambition for this season of avoiding relegation has just about been achieved, but Hodgson doesn't want this, he added: 'I think Europe will be something that just happens to one team. I don't think any of the teams who could finish seventh are saying they want to be in Europe.
'It's more a question of seeing how well we play the last seven games. If we got to two or three games left and the goal was in sight then teams might say 'we fancy it', but with seven games to go most of us will wait and see.
'If it happens it happens and we'll be very glad - but let's make certain we don't let the season degenerate.'
He has a wise head on those old shoulders. You can tell why Hodgson has had success where he has been and in spite of this he always maintains a level head.
Fulham in next seasons UEFA Europa League is a real possibility now isn't it, but can this really be achieved or will Fulham just get piped at the post do you think?
Date:Saturday April 11 2009
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