I’ll send Reading down if I have toBy Adam Lee
April 14, 2008
‘...but we might be too far behind,’ says Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson paid tribute to Reading and Steve Coppell, but insisted that he would reluctantly send Royals down if it meant his own club stay in the Premier League.
The Cottagers’ 2-0 defeat of Reading gave them a fighting chance of pulling off a miraculous relegation escape act, while dragging the home side right back into the dogfight.
But although Hodgson is not getting carried away by their first away win since September 2006, he does believe his side have given themselves a chance.
But as far as Fulham staying up at Reading’s expense goes, Hodgson is under no illusions.
“I’ve got to say that that (bringing Reading back into the relegation fight) doesn’t give me pleasure,” said the former Switzerland boss.
“I think Reading is an excellent club and I’ve got great admiration for Steve Coppell both as a manager and a person. He’s outstanding.
“It doesn’t give me pleasure to see his team go down but unfortunately, if you’d have said to me that we could stay up but they have got to down then I’m afraid I would have to take it.”
Hodgson, despite his side’s very impressive win, certainly wasn’t allowing the three points to go to his head, instead emphasising how disheartened he has been by Fulham’s dreadful season.
“No I’m not upbeat,” insisted Hodgson.
“I’m very satisfied with the team’s performance.
“I’m disappointed that we still have it all to do because I do believe that this team could survive, but we’ve got a mountain to climb, a huge points deficit to make up, and it’s going to be very difficult.”
Fulham dominated the game, hitting the bar three times, and only the goalkeeping of Marcus Hahnemann prevented the game being a rout as a very poor Reading side capitulated for the second week running.
Hodgson praised his side for taking advantage, producing a professional performance that certainly doesn’t reflect their league position, and claiming a long-awaited three points on their travels.
“Certainly the players, today, gave me a lot of encouragement after what was a very disappointing Saturday last week,” he said.
“I was concerned that today , if we lost then we’d have really been out of it, now we’re not out of it, we’ve just got a difficult task.
“We’ve made it hard for ourselves but at least we’re still in the race.”